Page 1





by Jontae Hohn Photos by the author

Friendship, Faith, Help, Love, Hope and Wisdom were all

emotional and moral realms. Love is the fundamental

I could see projecting upward in the distance as the 5.1

value the world shared to show passion and devotion;

water bus glided us by the base of the Arsenale. On May

this is captured by two hands firmly interlocking

9, 2019 Lorenzo Quinn, as part of the 58th International

their fingers. Hope is shown the first initial contact of

Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, unveiled his newest

interlaced fingers which implies hope and optimism for

piece Building Bridges. They are striking pairs of resin-

the future and the strength to persevere. Lastly, Wisdom

cast hands standing 15-meters high and 20-meters wide.

bridges the generational gap between the young and the

The six universal values of humanity stood tall and firm

old by the joining of both hands at their fingertips with a

beaming white under the Venetian sun.

powerful linking of knowledge and understanding.

Friendship is created by two hands, lightly but securely,

It was here that I finally saw the most aesthetic

pressed palm to palm to create a symmetrical symbol of

combination of art and emotion. No need for filler words

trust and support. ‘Faith’ evokes the notion that there is

and phrases or dramatic facial expression. The slight flex

a responsibility of teaching and nurturing the younger

and bends of the human hands were all that were needed

generation of core values such as reliance, confidence

to evoke messages and connections beyond 1000 words.

and self-worth. This is depicted by the child’s hand

Human hands have the privilege and power of beautiful,

grasping the finger of the parent in blind faith. Help is the

impactful and efficient creation. They also have the

two hands grasping each other in a visually supportive

cataclysmic influence to cause devastation and pain. Our

tension symbolizing helping one another in physical,

humanity controls which emotional and altruistic action

route we seek in our everyday lives. Quinn has founded a way to showcase six that he feels the public eye should focus on no matter our race, age, religion or language. Building Bridges signifies multiple human hands coming together to build a better world by bridging our different gaps and not separating them with walls. The relationship between community and art is heavily apparent in Venice. Right across the walkway from

Building Bridges, I happened to stumble upon a large, free exhibition by the Spazio Thetis with many pieces from independent artists, students and museums incorporated into the outside gardens. On my venture to find the six bridges, I was delighted by the waterways, tunnels, city streets and bridges plastered and adorned with colorful event posters, intricate graffiti and lighthearted drawings depicting love, identity and whimsical figures. The city of Venice gives their community an abundance of opportunity, knowledge and the most unbelievably authentic expression through art, and it cannot be missed.



by Leah Harrell and Manuel Fernandez Photo by Manuel Fernandez

To avoid being overwhelmed by the masterpieces of Florence, we undertook a simple goal of focusing on just the hands of figures to see what they could tell us. symbolic meanings. We tried to figure those out, at least on the surface level, by examining the different gestures the hands of figures were given. This simple task allowed us to avoid the instant overwhelming sensation the entirety of a piece gives off. For instance, the Baptistry was one place we visited. It features a golden mosaic that completely dominates the space. The intricate array of figures is, at first glance, immensely overpowering.

However, focusing on the

Picture the main corridor of the Uffizi with its hundreds

hands of the main figure of Jesus made the monumental

of sculptures, paintings and the ornate hall itself. It’s a

work into something a little easier to take in.

lot. It’s easy to just be stunned by it all, to walk from room to room, whispering wow and undertaking your entire

We noticed his hands reach out to help the figures

journey under a cloud of awe. Art in Florence is stunning,

surrounding him. His right hand is an open palm facing

but it all too often completely stuns visitors to the point

the heavens. When we looked closer, we saw the people

where everything begins to blur together.

on the right side of him were the ones in Heaven. They were the ones he was pulling toward him. However, his

To avoid this common tragedy, we decided to have a goal

left hand faces downward and lies on the side of the

in mind when it comes to the paintings and sculptures of

demons and evil in the scene. This simple observance of a

Florence: look at the hands.

small aspect of the scene unearthed deeper meanings as well. We believe the open palm he holds out is a symbol

The vast quantities of art in Florence are imbued with 2

of hope for all people, including those who are depicted


residing in hell.

The openness shows all salvation is

down into something that can be read and understood.

possible. We noticed this theme throughout the city, as

Next time, instead of staring at a piece in blind awe, try

many heavenly figures depicted in various places have

picking a certain aspect to focus on and see what it can

been given the open hands to symbolize the promise of

say. We found that the smallest part of a monumental


work can hold the most meaning if one bothers to look for it.

This simple goal we undertook of studying the hands of figures and seeing what they tell us allowed us to take in extremely overwhelming pieces of art and break them


by Marina Dietrich Photos by the author

Local contemporary artist Sedicente Moradi creates sculptural installations made from recycled materials. These works not only directly engage the public, but represent the beauty of repurposing to create new art in a city dedicated to preserving art from the past. Florence harbors a myriad of artworks which take precedence in the city, each piece a reminder of Italy’s art historical past. The well-preserved art history within the city attracts visitors from all over the world. I, too, am guilty of selecting Florence as my study abroad destination based on its art. However, amidst the clutter of scrambling visitors, their arms outstretched with smartphones, competing for the best snapshot of the

Birth of Venus or the Duomo, it is not uncommon for me to feel disconnected from the art of Florence that I came to experience. However, upon further exploration of the city, past the main attractions, an unlikely yet captivating surprise awaits. The sculptural installation by Sedicente Moradi in Piazza del Carmine, a lion composed of reclaimed wooden branches, is an exceptional representation of contemporary art in Florence that goes unnoticed by tourists. Moradi is a contemporary artist practicing in Florence who utilizes recycled materials to create sculptures, primarily depicting wild animals. Although the chosen

When I visited Piazza del Carmine, it was not heavily

subject matter may make the work appear foreign to its

populated. For one of the first instances since I arrived

urban location, the material choice proves otherwise.

in Florence, there was silence. I felt that my experience

Moradi sourced the recycled wooden pieces that make up

of the artwork was facilitated by the atmosphere of the

the lion from by the river, suggesting that the sculpture

location. Although it asserts its presence, the lion does

belongs in the space from which it derived. This is

not intrude the public space but rather interacts with

in direct contrast to the large rooms, elaborate light

its surroundings, with visual parallels seen between

fixtures, and high security detail of the widely-visited

the planted trees that surround it. I encourage any

paintings in Florence art museums. An artist myself, I

visitor of Florence interested in art to visit the park and

also create art made from recycled materials and found

experience the installation by Moradi. This piece of art,

objects. I find this process that I share with Moradi to

rather than encouraging an automatic documentation

be important due to the Earth’s current environmental

of its presence, invites viewers to continue their normal

state. Although I will not disregard the importance of

activities while appreciating art. Not only does the work

protecting the history of art, I believe that tourists

acknowledge the importance of material circularity, but

seeking art should consider contemporary artists such as

it acts as a vehicle to connect visitors with contemporary

Moradi that offer a different and perhaps more relevant

art of Florence.

artistic perspective.



by Alexis DeFord Photos by the author

From April 30 to May 24 2019, the City of Florence honored the late modern Tuscan artist Giampaolo Talani with a roughened and functional, yet delightful, exhibit of his works in the ground floor of the Palazzo Vecchio. Artistico in Lucca and studied under


master Goffredo Trovarelli at the

residences, Talani also fashioned

destined to reside in private

Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence.

himself to be a public artist. Some

After studying many different art

of his grandest works are in public

techniques, he took up painting and

spaces, made to be seen, shared and

started to specialize in the fresco

enjoyed by everyone, no matter their

style (mural painting done over a

age, race, creed or economic status.

fresh, wet coat of plaster); now he is

My personal favorite of his bronzes

known as a modern fresco master.

has to be Il Marinaio, or The Mariner. The figure looks steadily towards






the horizon over the sea with his


hair gently billowing in the breeze,

Maria Novella Train Station. This

but his feet are planted firmly in the

piece speaks to the constant motion

ground, anchoring him to the shore.

of travel, extremely fitting for a

To me this embodies the tension

major train station. However, this

between forward motion, the present

idea of motion is very common,

reality and past traditions. While he

almost ubiquitous, in all of Talani’s

gazes out to sea, into the future, the


northwest wall of Florence’s



mariner still accepts his place there

turning away to leave,

on land, and he keeps his fish, near

or some wind or waves are present

his feet, as a reminder of past events.

in the scene. The sea, with the tide

This idea is perfect for a modern

always coming and going in a seesaw

world, where a desire to move on

motion, yet steady in its eternal beat,

and grow hurtles society into the

is reminiscent of motion; the two go

future, but traditions rooted in the

hand in hand.

past anchor us and guide us in these

walking or



turbulent times. Talani also incorporates common From April 30 to May 24, 2019, the City

sea symbols like seashells or fish,

of Florence honored the late modern

so that even if the sea itself is not

Tuscan artist Giampaolo Talani with

in the painting directly, we are

a functional yet delightful, exhibit

reminded that it exists outside the

of his works on the ground floor

frame, always nearby. This echoes

of the Palazzo Vecchio. After days

the thought that life is full of motion,

of visiting the majestic, impressive

and even if one moment is still, there

and rather repetitive works of all of

is motion just around the corner.

the renaissance greats, visiting the

Anima Sola exhibition in the stately

Not content in limiting his art to just

Palazzo Vecchio was a blissful breath

one medium, he became a bronze

of fresh air.

sculptor as well. Three of his bestknown bronzes are Partenza in Berlin,

Born in 1955 and raised a few meters

Fiorenza in Florence, and Il Marinaio

from the sea, Giampaolo Talani’s

in San Vincenzo. His bronzes can be

art was heavily influenced by his

thought of as 3D forms of his painted

hometown of San Vincenzo, a quaint

works, as these too have intrinsic sea

fishing village south of Livorno. To

elements and signs of movement.

become an artist, he attended Liceo

In addition, while many artists create




by Bryce Stanley Photo by the author

The History and Works of Alessandro Vannini Nearly 400 years ago, a distinguished Florentine artist by the name of Ottavio Vannini created for the cathedral of San Marco a superb depiction of St. Vincent Ferrer. Today, his descendant, Alessandro Vannini, not only continues his ancestor’s artistic legacy but does so within the very same cathedral he produced one of his most illustrious works. Alessandro Vannini, also born in Florence, began to realize his affinity for art rather early on in life. For around the age of 10, Vannini began sketching. These sketches are described by Vannini as his first foray into the world of art, eventually fostering a desire to attend a fine arts university. Unfortunately, due to financial circumstances, his family couldn't provide him this opportunity. This did not dissuade Vannini however, as he continued to create art and still drew, from afar, the scholastic landscapes of which he so dearly sought inclusion within. These landscapes would soon be replaced by more naturalistic content, for Vannini soon after began depicting the Tuscan countryside which surrounded him, ultimately creating his first exhibition entitled Lontananza. These works displayed Vannini’s initial painting style, one which

Vannini turned to small personal projects which were

relied solely on oil-based paint mixed with turpentine.

not to make it to exhibition, the most notable of which

This foundational exhibition, which debuted in 1973,

were entitled The Battle of Montaperti, Leonardo’s

was followed shortly thereafter by his first solo show,

Walk, Stories of Jesuits, and Underground, the Places of

which commenced three years later. Vannini's initial

Memory. In 2011, Vannini once again set out to create a

artistic style would change, however, during the 1990s

piece worthy of exhibition, focusing on the notorious

and was displayed to the public via his 1992 exhibition

Florentine figure, Girolamo Savonarola, and creating an

entitled Variations on the Battle of San Romano by

extensive charcoal on paper exhibition entitled Il Caso

Paolo Uccello. For this piece, Vannini revolutionized his

Savonarola. During the years succeeding this endeavor,

approach by utilizing tempera as his base and relying

Vannini spent his time on both minor projects as well

solely upon his memory of the specifics of the creation

as those intended for exhibition. The former included

to slowly reinterpret Uccello's epic work. This extensive

concentrations upon various historical figures, including

project took 11 years to complete and was finally brought

an interpretation of his ancestor Ottavio’s depiction of

to exhibition in 2003, one which concluded at the site

Christ and St. Peter. The latter consisted of two works

of the battle itself. In 2003, Vannini then decided to

shown in 2015, entitled La Partita di San Giovanni, and

embark upon another monumental project akin to his

La Partita Dell’Orgoglio. Following this, Vannini busied

Uccellioan replication. For this endeavor, Vannini sought

himself with minor projects until May of this year, where

to replicate the Lost Frescos of Michelangelo’s follower,

he chose to return his artistic focus to the infamous

Jacopo Pontormo. Extricating himself from his memory

Dominican monk, Girolamo Savonarola— determined

based approach, Vannini utilized Pontormo’s surviving

to display the Florentine people’s uprising against him.

draft sketches in order to respectfully replicate his work.

Vannini decided to create the entirety of his proposed

Vannini also implemented the use of scraping in order

exhibition, entitled La Battaglia Di San Marco, within the

to make the piece look as though it had gone through

Basilica of San Marco. This was the very site in which the

500 years of wear. His replicated work was displayed in

mob of Florence extricated for trial this tyrannical zealot

a variety of exhibitions which spanned from 2003-2006.

and, as stated previously, a locus familiar to the presence

Upon the conclusion of this considerable undertaking,

of a Vanninian palette. 5



by Kathryn Adamski, Gianna Prignano, Abigail Griffith, and Leah Willis Photo by Abigail Griffith

According to the Italian dictionary the aperitivo is a “beverage meant to stimulate the appetite or in some cases to aid digestion.” Born in 1786 in Torino, this tradition was created by Antonio Benedetto Carpano after he invented a white wine moscato infused with spices that he served prior to a meal. Over the years, it has evolved to involve all types of food and drink and is served between 6 to 9 p.m. This summer, Fedora, the pastry shop creative learning lab of Apicius, features “Aperidora”— showcasing the Food and Culture department on Thursday evenings as a private event for the FUA community. Our task was to visit this event and observe the tradition. As a group, we tasted several different appetizers. Foods that were served ranged from spreads, such as guacamole, to bread dishes such as pizza and sandwiches. Additional menu items included cured meats and fresh cheese, squid and potato salad, and a caprese salad. The second course included pesto pasta, a rice dish, and fried green tomatoes. The atmosphere was very pleasant and we were also given the chance to try a craft cocktail. We all tried the Frozen Berry, which was a blend of fresh berries, vodka, and mint. Students and staff gathered in the courtyard on the lovely summer evening. We also spoke to two of the students who are enrolled in the Food, Culture and Community course in charge of Aperidora. These students were involved in making the food that was served at the event. While talking with them,they explained to us how there was a lot of hard work and pride that went into learning about and producing the food that was served. Overall, the event was a pleasant experience and we would recommend that other students check it out for the varied selection as well as to support the learning outcomes of fellow peers. 6



APR - MAY 2019

by Jo Ann Morreale, Newsom McKenzie, Nguyen Dung and Allison Norris Photos by Cherie Tunget

Becoming a Gastronome, as defined by Carlo Petrini, is a journey. A journey that requires knowledge of all aspects of food: biological, cultural, geographical, economic, political, religious, and environmental. A journey that requires actively seeking to change the world, one bite of food at a time. We were fortunate to be able to combine a visit to two picturesque towns in Tuscany’s Val d’Orcia; Montalcino and Pienza, which are two producers of the area’s products: Brunello wine and Pecorino cheese. In beautiful Montalcino, we walked to the medieval castle where we admired the view of the Valley before visiting Luca and Barbara Salvi at their home and winery. We took a tour of their wine production facilities and learned of the family’s history. The grapes are grown and harvested for use in their wines, and the differences in types and tastes in their wines is due to the differences in location (they have three growing locations) along with soil type and climate. Later, we sat down to a delicious lunch and a wine tasting. We started with their Vermintino, a light, dry white wine designated as an IGT. Next, we tried the Rosso di Montalcino, a red wine, aged one year, designated as a DOG. We finished the tasting with their Brunello— arguably Italy’s best wine. The Brunello has the highest standard of designation, or DOCG. In Pienza we visited the shop of the Di Mario family run Pecorino cheese factory, where we tasted four different types of Pecorino: Pecorino Fresco, Pecorino in Barrique, Pecorino aged in walnut leaves, and Stravecchio. The tastes ranged from mild or delicate to decisive based on the aging process. The longer the aging process, the more dominant the flavor. On our way to the tasting, we walked to the central piazza to learn about the vision Enea Silvio Piccolmino, who later became Pope Pius II, had for recreating his birth town. The Cathedral, the Town Hall, and the Piccolomini Palace set the architectural standard for the rest of the town. Walking the town’s perimeter on the “Walk of Love” afforded us another panoramic view of the beautiful valley. Becoming a gastronome is not an overnight process. It is a journey of discovery, of re-education of making changes in thinking and action that will make the world a better place. Meeting with the producers of local products, learning first-hand how the history, culture, and resources of an area contribute to and define taste, is an important first step in this journey. As aspiring gastronomes, we took that step in Val d’Orcia!




by Mackenzie Gellner Photos by the author

The cinematic glamour on the silver screen





universe. Except, it’s not. These grand-scale blockbusters will use artificial Hollywood sets, but they will also utilize the reality around them. Florence, Italy is one of those natural sets that many directors in the past, and present, have decided to make the backdrop for their megahits.





tourist can get the chance to step into those infamous scenes without needing a Hollywood starlet by their side. Majority of the scenes on the silver screen are filmed in the most iconic, beloved sites of Florence. The first stop being the notorious Duomo, where there are crowds and crowds of tourists squishing their way to get the closest possible view of the grand structure. However, they may have already caught a glimpse of it in the 1985 film A Room with a View, directed by James Ivory. It appears consistently throughout the film, watching as the love story builds and unfolds. The Duomo was also a key player in the iconic Tea with Mussolini, directed by Franco Zeffirelli in 1999, due to Photo by the author

the film’s focus on showcasing and appreciating the art and architecture of Florence. There is even a museum dedicated to Zeffirelli, and, along with that, the Uffizi Gallery is also an essential spot to visit, if a Tea with Mussolini fan. The group of women, called the “Scorpioni,” always drank their afternoon tea there as it holds stunning



exactly what the Scorpioni adored. However, the Duomo is not the only Photo from the movie Tea with Mussolini, Cattleya Productions


Florentine star on the big screen.






Inferno, directed by Ron Howard, the Baptistery, which stands directly next to the Duomo, is an essential component to the plot of the film. It is definitely underrated when beside the Duomo, but for any Inferno or Tom Hanks fanatic it is a must-see. Howard did not stop at the Baptistery though. He utilized several parts of Florence, from the architecture to the natural landscapes. When Tom Hanks, who plays protagonist Robert Langdon, attempts to flee towards the city with Dr. Sienna Brooks, played by Felicity Jones, they take a detour through the beautiful Grand Boboli Gardens. Even if not fleeing though, the gardens are still an enchanting Florentine site to stroll through. If in the Piazza della Repubblica, take a walk to Santa Maria Novella’s

Photo from the movie Inferno, Columbia Pictures Entertaiment

pharmacy close by. This happens to be

may not be an infamous scene quite

no chance of running into Reynolds

the pharmacy in the movie Hannibal

yet, a car chase with Ryan Reynolds


where Hannibal Lecter, played by

was filmed recently in Florence



for Michael Bay’s upcoming film


hand cream that is then used as a

6 Underground. Set to release on

greenery of Florence was and still is

clue for FBI Agent Clarice Starling,

Netflix in 2019, the film closed off

utilized for a beautiful backdrop to

played by Julianne Moore, to find his

many roads for production. In fact,

be viewed on the silver screen. Take a


though it is empty now, last year the

moment to feel like you are featuring






Piazza Ognissanti was packed with

in one of them by stopping by these

A final thought is to stroll along the

about 450 crew members. Now it’s

reputable spots.

roads of the Arno River. Though this

easier to walk through, but there’s

Photo from Ryan Renolds Youtube Page

Photo by the author



by Sydney Pougue

Photos by the author

athletic courts, a playground, and stone pathways ornamented by the occasional park bench. I immediately wanted to collapse from a mix of gratitude and exhaustion, but then remembered that this was in fact not my final destination. Turning my attention to a gentleman sitting on a bench under a group of trees, I asked if he knew where Ostello Tasso was. Beneath the speckled patches of ancient

closest bridge (which conveniently

the midday sun cast by the canopy

streets of Florence, I couldn’t help

made for both a scenic crossing

above, his face lit up as he explained






of the river and a nice picture).

to me that the hostel was incredibly

have been like to navigate this city

However, after stepping off and onto

close by, down the street in fact.

hundreds of years ago. contrastingly,

the other side of the city, I realized

I followed his directions, finding

however, I suddenly became aware of

that I was already lost. All around

myself wandering along the quiet,

how we, as a society, rely so heavily

me, tourists and Florentines alike,


on technology and modern sources

bustled about inspecting the colorful

before finally arriving at the hostel.

of information for travel today—

scarves, paintings, and jewelry that

even when our desired destination is



The total time it took for me to find

just around the block. This made me

shops. Looking around, yet trying to

Ostello Tasso was one hour and two

wonder how we ever found where we

maintain my focus, I became aware of

minutes(compared to the twenty-

wanted to go before the existence of

the fact that Ostello Tasso could be

seven minutes it should have taken).

such aid?

any direction of where I was standing

But amongst the web of narrow alleys

in that very moment.

and winding cobblestone streets,



















challenge I decided to embark upon.

With no idea how to proceed, I

treasures and practiced my Italian

I wanted to attempt to navigate the

went with the most creative option:

in the process. Inherently, I gained

city of Florence without any maps or

straight ahead.

a greater cultural appreciation for Florence as a whole. So whether you

navigational technology whatsoever. It would only be me, my senses, and

After a couple minutes of hesitantly

are a lover of modern technology or

the naive hope that I would eventually

plucking my way along the main road,

not, I suggest giving something like

find my ultimate destination; Ostello

Via de’ Guicciardini, I sidestepped

this a try because who knows what

Tasso— a relatively new hostel which

into a local dress store and asked (in

hidden treasures you may find?

I believed would make for interesting

very broken Italian) if anyone knew

content in a future article. With the

where Ostello Tasso was. At first,

destination set, I received the street

the woman stared at me blankly. But

address from my supervisor, along

before my heart could completely

with the sole hint that the hostel was

sink, another lady piped up from

on the other side of the Arno, and

behind the counter. She expressed

then I set off.

that she had heard of the place and it was near Piazza Torquato Tasso.












relatively easy, considering I knew

through streets in the early summer

that I had to go towards L’Arno from

sun and asking countless locals now

my apartment, which was about a

about Piazza Torquato Tasso every

fifteen minute walk. When I reached

ten steps, I eventually reached the

the river, by chance of location, Ponte

square. It turned out to be quite a

Vecchio just so happened to be the

charming little park, consisting of




FLY LOOK OF THE MONTH Styling and copywriting by Ruth Ambrocio and Lucas Fernandes | Photos by Lucas Fernandes | Modeled by Carissa Selbie

Summertime in Italy leads to endless adventures; you can strut through the city or channel your inner explorer. FLY’s look of the month is all about the experimental explorer who you can be found hiding under a canopy of trees, searching for undiscovered paths, or hunting for treasured experiences. The utilitarian style uses layering to accessorize and making the most out of each piece. This summer we challenge you to be creative with your closet by style pieces in a way you would never have thought. Carissa is wearing a vest designed and crafted by Jack Dizillo, worn underneath a chic vintage Burberry trench coat. To accessorize this outfit we belted the coat using a vintage orange blouse, which has an amazing drape detailing adding more dimension to the look. Pieces like this showcase the importance of multifunctional clothing. We also have some leather accent pieces such as, the textured brown belt sported across the shoulder, also designed and crafted by Jack Dizillo, giving this tough girl some chic. And to finalize the look, a straw hat, designed and crafted by Kelsie Lervic a Fashion Student at FUA, with a lovely gold and black leather trimming that parallels the previous leather details. Throw on this aesthetic and start exploring!



by Sailormoon Moua and Madison Jay Photo by the authors

For fashion lovers around the world, Florence is a must-

trousers with a white top and a cream coloured blazer

see destination. It is home to its very own culture of

to wrap the overall look. Looking polished is an essential!

fashion that helps to create an atmosphere unlike any

The locals enjoy color as well as embrace patterns and

other. From passionate creators to colourful trends, this

various designs. The Florentine-based designer Emilio

city offers an impeccable fashion experience.

Pucci is a good reference on what patterns are common. His work is described as a kaleidoscope of colors inspired

Florence offers a much different fashion culture than

by mosaics, batiks of Bali and African motifs.

other parts of the western world, you can easily find many worldwide chain stores from H&M to Gucci; however,

In addition to bright clothing pieces, you can catch locals

only viewing this city’s fashion from the surface would

rocking many different accessories. Neck scarves are a

be a mistake. Located throughout the city are small local

popular choice as they are highly versatile, being worn

stores or boutiques that offer amazing hidden treasures.

around the neck, in the hair and several other ways. You

In these stores, the clothes are often conceptualized and

can also find many bright and bold jewelry pieces that

designed right here in Florence, while also being made

they use to tie a look together. These accessories help to

within the country.

add pops of color, or accents to a look, making it fun and stylish. The final accessory that is a necessity to Florence

Due to this unique culture, Florence has developed

is fragrance! This invisible accessory is essential for a

several distinctive trends. Color plays a significant role

well rounded look. Fragrances have been a prominent

in Florence’s fashion scene where it is incorporated into

feature in Florence for centuries, and offers an alluring

their everyday wear, whether it be colourful pants, suits

quality to its wearer.

or accessories. These trends help to build Florence’s distinct look and Locals in Florence are rocking these colourful items and

feel. Combined with the unique culture of producing and

pairing them with neutral tones to even out their color

buying clothes, Florence is a must-see location for

pallette. For instance, one could combine bright red

anyone interested in fashion.





by Mackenzie Gellner Photo by the author

Tourism is more commonly synonymized as a benefit opposed to a complication. Generally, it is known to increase employment, improve the economy by increasing spending, produce new industries tailored to tourists, and showcase local culture. However,






in European cities, and it is not always resulting in benefits. Enrichetta Lucantonio, local Florentine street artist, explains how tourism has had an affect on many businesses in Florence, including her own, but hasn’t noticed much of an impact. “It hasn’t had much of a change. More people doesn’t necessarily mean more people buying,” Lucantonio explains. 10,080,000 people, according to the National Institute of Recently in Venice, there was an accident due to tourism.

Statistics ISTAT. That is an increase of 4.4 per cent since

According to BBC, a cruise ship crashed into a tourist

the year before.

boat, harming four people and causing environmental damage to the canals of the city.

Part of the problem with too much tourism is the lack of awareness around it. Lucantonio doesn’t know if this issue

As a result, the No Great Ships movement started, where

is discussed enough to where tourists are knowledgeable

protesters are stating these ships diminish the beauty of

enough to act upon it.

Venice and are bringing in too many tourists. “I’m not sure if they are aware. Maybe when they come According to Columbia University Libraries, a top-

and realise how many people are around them, it will give

tier academic research library, studies have shown the

them an idea of the issue.”

affect tourists can have on the historic environment of a location.

She adds, “I think a solution would be to make sure that tourists visit during the off season.”

In Venice, there is already a campaign emplaced called #EnjoyRespectVenezia in attempts to encourage tourists

The Columbia University Libraries studies also describe

to behave more appropriately. Florence has taken up this

the difference between overcrowding and good crowding.

campaign as well, but in a different manner.

It states how overcrowding is mainly due to tourists, and a large number of tourists can result in displacement of

#EnjoyRespectFirenze instructs tourists on what they

residents and local businesses, creating a negative effect

should not be doing while visiting the city, such as

on their quality of life.

littering, defacing statues or monuments, sitting on the steps of churches, and the list trails on. It even got to

However, although it does affect the day-to-day life

a point where authorities in Florence Started enacting

of residents, Lucantonio understands the economic

drastic solutions: Cleaning the steps of the of church of

benefits to where it overrides the discomfort created.

S.Croce during the day with hoses so to prevent tourist sitting on them.

“Florence is a small town, and so this type of tourism, like in this season, ends up crowding up the place and it

Out of the 420 million tourists who came to Italy in

gets difficult to move. But since the city sustains itself on

2017, 2.4 per cent of them stayed in Florence, which is

tourism, I think it’s a positive gain in the end.” 13


by Jenna Detiveaux, Kyra Helming, Elle Vandorp, Emily Hylland Photos by the authors

Florence has stories that go back

At another store near Santa Croce,



there is a white dresser covered with

thinking about the ties between the



ornate paintings. Perhaps this dresser

history of the city and modern times,

belonged to an elderly woman and it

one can reflect on the objects of the

stayed in her home for many years.

many vintage stores around town

Maybe her granddaughter always

and how they are from different time

loved it because she could look at

periods. Each vintage shop has a

the paintings that depicted people

variety of different objects that have

in traditional clothing. To her, they

the possibility to represent a person,

looked like princes and princesses

story, or memory from someone in

from the fairytales her grandmother

the past.

always read to her. She could make up stories about their lives as she

At a shop near Ponte Vecchio, for

was playing in her grandmother’s

example, you can find a set of crystal

home. When the grandmother passed



away, her granddaughter was much

glasses, you can begin to wonder




older and had a home of her own.

what the story behind them are.

Unfortunately , she had nowhere to

Imagine that these glasses were used

put the dresser she loved so much,

in a wedding of two soulmates. They

so she sold it to the antique shop

used these glasses to toast at their

hoping that someone else would love

wedding before they began their life

it just as much as she had.

together. Years after their wedding, they began to have financial issues,

Now these are just made-up stories,

so they reluctantly decided to sell

and who knows what really happened

the glasses that meant so much to

with these items or how they ended

them. Selling these glasses helped

up at the shops. Despite of this,

out with the financial problems, but

antique stores are a great place to

they were never able to replace the

let your mind wander and creatively

glasses that represented their love

imagine the hidden stories behind

and wedding to each other.

the objects you come across.


by Mary Morgan Grantham, Margaret Anne Montgomery, and Avenell Neyman Photos by the authors

In recent years, Florence has experienced an urge to become increasingly environmentally friendly. Recent initiatives have been extremely successful in the city as they have been committed to the elimination of the use of plastics and are hoping to pave the way for other neighboring regions to follow in their efforts to “go green” and protect the environment. Before leaving for Florence, we had a bit of an idea of how Italy went out of the way to be kind to the environment and find everyday ways to eliminate waste and cut down on overuse of electricity, but we had no idea just how environmentally friendly this city is. It can be seen everywhere you look, from the Vespas lining the streets and the bikers zipping through traffic, to metal straws at cafes and reusable bags at the markets. Plastic bags were replaced a few years ago with biodegradable ones at supermarkets. Many reasons that humans tend to be harsher on the environment is just an issue of convenience as many of us naturally do not tend to go out of our way to do something if there is an easier option available. Not only does Tuscany encourage “going green” by being the first plastic-free region in Italy and one of the first in all of Europe, but they also make it readily accessible to the citizens to where it becomes the most convenient option for them. For example, trash disposal is easily accessible and helps both natives 14


and tourists effortlessly sort their garbage into plastics, glass, and other categories. Bike sharing is also prominent here in Florence, as the only thing people have to do is download an app on their smartphones that shows them the nearest bikes around them. They can use the bike for their everyday commute and it is a cheaper alternative, as well as the eco-friendlier option when compared to owning a car. We asked a local, Gabriella, about her experience with riding bikes in the city, and she shared how she enjoys the bike sharing service as it is faster than walking and not a financial burden. Seeing a place that is so committed to creating a greener environment has not only encouraged the locals, but also visitors to help take small steps to save our environment.




by Jonathan Milford Photos by Kelsey Strange

Being surrounded by the city can get exhausting after a while with all of the hustle and tourists. This secret spot, off of the typical path, seems to be a “locals” spot. It’s one that seems very genuine and unique to the area. Just a few steps away from my apartment door on a narrow, Florentine street lies a peculiar piazza created by the intersection of four streets and the buildings that surround it. No matter what time of day, this small piazza nestled into the urban fabric echoes sounds of laughter, people licking gelato cones and motorcycles zooming by. This area is known as Piazza della Passera. The history of Passera goes all the way back to the thirteenth century during the Medici era, but there are two stories of origin. One of the stories dated back to around the time that the Black Death spread in Florence, when playing children found a plague-ridden, dying sparrow in the center of the piazza and were unable to save it causing the plague to spread.

The less tragic, other story, suggests that a brothel was placed in this site which is fitting for the piazza’s odd shape. Previously placed in a zone known as Quattro Leoni, “four lions” by Florentine law, one of the current restaurants on the piazza kept that piece of history and named their trattoria, 4Leoni. This trattoria has been named one of Florence’s top 20 restaurants and by the way it smells in the surrounding area, I can believe it. Also in this area are small artisan shops to find handmade items, a little cafe and a gelateria that spill out into the streets, plus a pizza restaurant that has an efficient carry-out window. Friends gather here, families bring their children here to let them chase the pigeons and everyone passing by always shows an expression of interest. Piazza della Passera is charged with energy. It’s definitely not the largest in Florence, but the activity and food here can keep you busy for quite a while.




APR - MAY 2019

by Victoria Young Photos by Kelsey Strange

I walk by the Loggia del Pesce everyday as I leave my apartment, but I never realized its significance in history. I was under the impression it was a “fake Renaissance” piece added to the city in the 1900s during a beautification project for Firenze. After looking more closely, on the top corner of the loggia is the seal of the Medici family, and another corner divulged another seal, but this one a combination of the Medici and Toledo family. After further research, I learned the loggia was built in 1567 by Giorgio Vasari. Cosimo I de’ Medici had it commissioned for the fish vendors after their market was displaced from the construction of the Vasari corridor and placed in the Old Market, now known as the Piazza della Republica. This is why the seal of the Medici can be seen multiple times on the corners of the loggia. The loggia was dismantled during the unification of Italy from 1885-1895 and most of its surviving decoration went to the museum of San Marco. Twelve of the original tondos above the arches were broken; however, they have been recreated based off of the remaining tondos which survived. Each of the tondos were meant to illustrate the different types of fish and fishing practices used. The Loggia del Pesce is currently located in the Piazza dei Ciompi and was built there in 1956. Today, the loggia has nine arches, originally there were eight and canopied vaults. There are many restaurants offering outside seating that overlooks the loggia such as Salsamenteria de’ Ciompi and Biancazerozero. On multiple weekends throughout the summer, there have also been art markets where vendors have set up stalls selling items such as jewelry, scarves, woodworks, and soaps. The Loggia del Pesce is a beautiful monument in the Santa Croce quarter of the city that is worth a visit.



by Skylar Sorensen Photos by Kelsey Strange

There is a delightful, harmonious chaos and uniform

seating, giving people another option where they can sit

disarray when one enters and gazes around the Piazza

and observe life in the piazza.

Santo Spirito in the Oltrarno district of Florence. The quick 10-15 minutes walk from Piazza della Signoria

Above this medley is an assortment of large windows

across the Ponte Santa Trinita makes it still convenient

which belong to the apartments overlooking the piazza

to visit, but it feels like a neighborhood, not a tourist trap.

below. The shorter height of the buildings allows plenty of sunlight to bathe the piazza throughout the day. The

There are cafe tables sprawling onto the long sides of the

buildings lower height and large windows also allow

rectangular piazza with a fountain in the center. There

a stronger relationship between the residences to

are few benches in the piazza, but the best place to sit is

the piazza. A resident might open their window in the

on the steps of the cathedral, the north end of the piazza,

morning to sip a cup of espresso and watch deliveries of

overlooking the view. Every afternoon and evening the

fresh produce being made to the restaurants. Neighbors

steps of the Basilica are crowded with groups, couples

may also sit by their open window with a glass of

and individuals who are sitting on there eating, drinking

Chianti in the evening while listening to live music being

or just socializing. Mornings host a marketplace of fresh

played. There is a direct connection of visual and audio

foods and homewares, whereas in the evenings the piazza

interaction between the apartments and the piazza

is packed with young and old alike from aperitivo to well

because they are only a few stories tall, and the windows

past midnight.

are a portal to connect to the piazza below.

The center of the piazza features a small two-tiered

The significance of Piazza Santo Spirito is that it is a

fountain with an edge wide enough to sit on. Equidistant

gathering place for the Oltrarno quarter of Florence. The

from the fountain to the surrounding buildings there are

surrounding buildings do not overwhelm the sides or

small plots with plantings of shrubbery and trees.

tower over the piazza, rather they are connected back to

The curb around each tree’s planter box is short and

the space through sensory cues. It is a place to gather,

unsuitable for sitting, and yet people still continue to

dine, live and enjoy a lively neighborhood in a tourist

try and sit on it. It would be a great consideration to

attraction city.

improve these planter boxes into a form of functional 18



The following are the creations of the street photography class in FUA. The assignment given to the class was to document the life in the four neighbourhoods that compose the center of Florence, capturing its charm and people working, visiting and moving in the small streets and grand piazzas. OLTRARNO - BIANCHI

Photo by Brynn Maenhout

Photo by Dasha VanderMaten

Photo by Margaret Phillips



Photo by Julia Pacer

Photo by Rachel Smith




Photo by Emma Osfield

Photo by Robert Breede

Photo by Natalie Henriquez

Photo by Natalie Henriquez



Photo by Autumn Decker

Photo by Clayton Noblin

Photo by Autumn Decker





By FUA Alumni Association Photo by the author

FUA: Why Florence? Why Italy? DK: Florence is easily known all over the world for its beauty and ambience; it is a top destination for real Italian hospitality cuisine, fashion, and art. Moreover, its safety for visitors and the civility of the locals are unmatched. Florence, as the former city of the Medici, was once the richest city in the world. It boasts an invaluable concentration of outstanding historical monuments and was the home of famous artists and inventors such as Leonardo da Vinci. I am privileged to have lived and studied in a place like Florence, and have the best of memories such as visiting a parmesan cheese factory FUA: Introduce yourself

and prosciutto producer in Parma. The strict adherence to

DK: My name is Demesew Kassayie, but you can also call

the basics according to a consistent standard is impressive.

me Demiss for short! I am from Canada and used to study at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

FUA: What did you do at FUA that helped you in your career and/or in your personal growth?

FUA: When did you study at FUA?

DK: The education I got from FUA helped my success and got

DK: I was a fourth year student studying international

me to where I am today. I thank all the staff and personnel

relations and political science. I left the university to pursue

at Apicius. I remember how the president, Dr. Ganugi, would

my dream of becoming a chef and joined FUA in 2003-2004,

come and visit us everyday, encouraging new students and

majoring in the Master-level program of Italian Cuisine.

making everybody feel at home. There were very professional

My mother was married to an Italian before and has four

faculty and outstanding staff who made you feel special in

boys and two girls from her first marriage. My brothers

every way!

and sisters were the first people who introduced me to everything Italian, including the regional cuisines of Italy. I

FUA: What would you say to any future students looking into

loved coming to Italy because of its rich history and its well-


preserved historical cities and its exceptionally prepared

DK: There is nothing to say about Florence except that it is


the most civilized and beautiful city in the world. To have lived and chosen Florence as your destination to study is like

FUA: Tell us about your profession and/or what you have

going to heaven while you are still alive! That is my honest

been up to since you left Florence

perception of Firenze the beautiful.

DK: Since I finished school, I have worked in Angola as a trainer for chefs here. I taught the Italian way of cooking

FUA: What are your plans for the future?

while introducing and importing Italian food products

DK: As for my future, there has never been a greater time

such as cheese, pasta, wine, and preserved meats including

than now to introduce Italian cuisine in the emerging

products from Parma. For me, and the majority of the planet,

African continent through opening an Italian culinary school

Italian food products are the best in the world due to the

in Addisabeba and importing the best products from Italy.

strict control from the farm to the table. For this reason we,

We have to keep doing what we do best: making people feel

as chefs, prefer products from Italy. I had the chance to cater

happy and joyous by feeding them the best Italian food!

for many African leaders in Addisabeba, Ethiopia during their conferences, and I was the Ethiopian Prime Minister's chef for a year and a half. I saw the delicious Italian food and wine going as fast as we served them, and found out how there is Italian in every house in the world thanks to the presence of wine, olive oil, or pizza. Tuscany of course is one of the giants of Italian regional cuisines!



Coordinamento Editoriale | Managing Editor

Supplemento di |

Tommaso Monaci

Supplement to Blending Magazine Reg. Trib. di Firenze n° 5844 del 29 luglio 2011

Redattore Associato | Contributing Editor

Anno 9 - Numero 4 - Giugno 2019

A lice Fratoni

Year 9 - Issue 4 - June 2019

Redazione testi | Copy Editors Editore | Publisher

A llie Jones

Florence Campus per INGORDA Editore

M acKenzie Gellner

Via Alfonso Lamarmora, 39

Sydney Pougue

50121 Firenze

Consulenti Accademici | Faculty Advisors Sede editoriale |

A ndrea M ancini

Blending is a newsletter created

Editorial Headquarters

Gaia Poli

with and for students of Florence

Corso Tintori 21

Nora Ferrucci

University of the Arts, the

50122 Firenze

Lucia Giardino

academic member of Palazzi FAIE.

Tel. 055 2469016

Rosaria Parretti Claudio Rodeghiero

The newsletter collaborates with the Student Life Department and

Stampato in proprio |

M arco Gualtieri

Development Office.

Printed in house

Francesca Bocci Benucci

For information contact:

Impaginazione | Page Layout


Teresa Flaitz

Direttore Responsabile | Editor in chief

M atteo Brogi Caporedattore | Editorial Director Grace Joh

p e r F l ore n c e C a mpu s E d it ore

Millions discover their favorite reads on issuu every month.

Give your content the digital home it deserves. Get it to any device in seconds.