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by Katie Weiler Photos by Bronwyn Morgan & Bridgette Bacon

This session's Fly event promotes reusing vintage designs, a social experience I think we need to share worldwide. There are many reasons the event was the perfect place to start the conversation. There are many reasons why this event was the perfect

As a fan of thrift-shopping myself, I like to think that

place to start the conversation.

reusing others’ clothing can help one step outside of

Sparking an idea in someone can make a world of

their ‘shopping comfort zone’. I was excited to attend

change. This semester’s first FLY event, Love Me

the event and to learn more about the sustainable

Longer, reminded guests to repurpose clothing in

fashion scene in Florence. After all, fashion is art.

order to help combat “fast fashion” and the effect it

Whilst the crowded store itself was overwhelming,

has on our planet. Industrialized clothing is a leading

seeing the popularity of the event was definitely

contributor to pollution and it’s something we can’t

reassuring. I always admire others who have an

fix alone. The phrase “reduce, reuse and recycle” can

interest in being more environmentally conscious.

extend to your wardrobe and even inspire new looks.

Student managers gave visitors a brief introduction

to the party and its purpose on the fashion scene. The event was welcome to all, hosting a mix of outsiders, fashion students, as well as many local Florentines. Upbeat music played as attendees were invited to browse the sustainable clothing that was on offer at the event. Included in the FLY store were vintage clothes donated to FLY, mixed in with student designs and each piece complete with a full explanation of its origins. I loved the personal touch put into every piece, helping connect the purchaser back to the designer. People admired the walls that were covered in repurposed clothing, inspired by being environmentally conscious. Words like, buy, make, thrift and swap encouraged students to look to other places to find new clothes. Bright jeans and t-shirts were altered to share these messages and there was no shortage of people listening at this event. I think repurposing clothes can help make the fashion scene more ecofriendly and can add flair to outfits, melding garments to fit the wearer’s personality. The outdoor space allowed people the chance to chat about the artwork and converse with student designers as well. Student-designed shirts were being sold in the courtyard and many guests made use of the changing rooms to try on their picks of the night. Camera f lashes brought the scene to life as students took pictures of the memorable night commencing. The back room had a photo booth in which guests could dress up and rock the outfits and accessories they had set aside; this lent to the fun and carefree atmosphere of the evening. The leafy, natureinspired venue was catered with appetizers from the Apicius International School of Hospitality, each dish a variety of Italian cuisine. Students working the event zig-zagged in and out, offering refreshments to guests, adding to the social scene the event had fully embraced. It was a crowded space for the night, but all the more people to share the message of fashion with in the future days. As students wear their purchased clothing, they continue to advertise that fashion can, and should, be sustainable and environmentally friendly.





Florence is perhaps most renowned for its world-famous art galleries and museums, being a city that often blurs the line between the two. Students of the Gallery and Exhibition Curating course have been exploring Florence by way of its multitude of museums and galleries, both modern and historic.


by Dylan Minowa Photos by the author

The idea of transferring one’s ideas from paper to fabric

that Gucci has created over the years, including jackets,

materials seems impossible. However, for Guccio Gucci,

dresses, handbags, and suitcases. The brand has evolved

the process came with ease. The Gucci Museum, also

over time, and it really showed through the numerous

known as the Gucci Garden, depicts the history of the

pieces on display as the viewer moves through each

Italian fashion brand over the course of its years since

room. Much of the second floor displayed articles of

being established in 1921. Divided into a series of thematic

clothing that were prominent in the media or were

rooms of a three story building, the museum sets out

significant in the brand’s annual shows. At the end of

to appeal to museum goers, food lovers, and fashion

the exhibit, the designs and exotic materials used for

fanatics by allowing the opportunity to experience all

the bags were also displayed. Finally, the third floor

three in one institution.

explained the processes, influences, and textiles used to

Walking up to the first floor, the audience is captivated

manufacture the apparel. The themes were much more

by a movie screening area that shows a mixture of films

prominent with each room; devoted to a style such as

Gucci helped to reproduce; the audience was introduced

nature, exotic animal prints, or simply other cultures’

to the fashion line through film, potentially creating a


little confusion as the brand itself is mostly known for

The museum section of the building lacked cohesion

its clothing and accessories. The images that appeared

when traveling from floor to floor. However, the end of

on the screen seemed not to be in any particular order,

the trip is worthwhile, as one can relax at the café or

and would sometimes switch in and out of a variety of

browse the store on the ground floor. The café allows

different films. In other words, the finished product

for people to enjoy some coffee and desserts while

made viewers stop in for a quick look before moving on

discussing their impression of the exhibits. At the

without watching the entirety of the presentation.

same time, the shopping experience gives visitors the

The second floor dived deeper into the various looks

opportunity to find exclusive attire and accessories.



A TALE OF TWO DAVIDS by Emma Derr Photos by the author

The city of Florence is known for countless artistic masterpieces, and most notably David, the famous sculpture by Michelangelo. David is on every tourist’s agenda and every Italian bucket list. But what many sightseers don’t know is that the city houses many other renditions of David, including a renowned work by Donatello. I decided to spend my first weekend in Florence visiting both. Michelangelo’s David is the main attraction in the Galleria dell’Accademia . The gallery also houses a moderate collection of paintings, but a typical visitor spends most of their time admiring David. The sculpture depicts the biblical hero David, who defeated Goliath with a slingshot. A common question is whether Michelangelo depicted David before or after the battle; I believe he is shown before the fight because of his fierce expression. The sculpture overtakes the room and is completely awe-inspiring. Art historian Giorgio Vasari praised it as an unparalleled artwork in every aspect. Even during the off-season, there is a decent crowd surrounding David, a testament to the sculpture’s status as a must-see.

Donatello's "David"

Bargello National Museum | Via del Proconsolo 4 | 50122 Florence, Italy

The Bargello Museum, on the other hand, was a completely






Bargello, which is one of the oldest buildings in Florence, houses an extensive collection of Renaissance sculptures. I spent the whole afternoon there and still felt like there was more to see. Donatello’s bronze David is situated at eye level in a large room full of other sculptures. In comparison to the overwhelming scale of Michelangelo’s interpretation, the figure seemed humble, with a less intense gaze. David’s ragged sword and unidealized body differs from the grand proportions of Michelangelo’s David, yet it speaks to another, equally important, part of the Renaissance. Considered a return to nude sculpture in its round figure, Donatello’s work is a critical piece in the history of Renaissance art. Beside Donatello’s bronze David is his earlier marble David and Verrocchio’s David. Together, these sculptures represent the wide range of art and history that Florence has to offer. Apart from the tourist favourites like Michelangelo’s David, many other museums host equally important artworks. It reminds me of how lucky I am to have the opportunity to delve into Florence’s story more deeply than a quick visit would allow. It is important to experience Italy not just as a tourist destination,

Michelangelo's "David" Galleria dell’Accademia |Via Ricasoli 58-60 | 50122 Florence, Italy Website:


following the “top ten things to do,” but to also witness other elements of history the city has to offer, like Donatello’s David.


A PALACE OF GRANDEUR by Matthew Reyes Photos by the author

The second I entered those marvelously carved doors of Palazzo Vecchio was the initial moment in which I was caressed by a thousand goosebumps traveling







contemplated whether I should pinch myself, in case I was unconsciously dreaming of such galore. As I anxiously awaited to give my ticket to the employee at the entrance, I envisioned a multitude of artistic attributes, whispering the anticipation of my company. I was oblivious, though, without an ounce of research on where I was and its brilliant work. “Ticket please,” the woman in her well-suited uniform requested. With great urgency, I handed her the ticket with no time to waste and no time to theorize the palace’s mysteries any longer. My eyes were shot wide open and the world had frozen in time. A long pause of silence flustered my mind along with a stream of sighs that followed. I thought to myself, “I’m here, I am finally here.” The first room was both large and exquisitely designed. The walls were plastered with gold, that matched its ceilings of similar grandeur. There was 5

a stage at the front of the room and there were

story. Some rooms were apartments, catered

three chairs in the far back on the second floor,

toward the lavish lifestyle of the various royal

overlooking the room’s entire contents. Upon

figures who occupied them. Other rooms had

reading the various descriptions throughout the

painted stories on the ceilings, depicting a certain

room, I had discovered that the space was used for

time within Italian history. My personal favorite

governmental gatherings. It served as a meeting

was the “Room of the Elements.” It was dedicated

chamber for both political and religious officials,

to the four elements: air, water, fire, and earth.

along with the people they governed. As I gazed

Its creative domain represented how all things

upon the walls within the space, I felt a compelling

originated from the elements, much like how Leo

sensation of opulence. It was apparent that the

X laid the groundwork for the foundation of the

architecture and culture of those times were grand,

Medici duchy of Tuscany. I was astounded at each

and its efforts to display economic transparency was

corner I turned, from the calming wind showcased

well executed. Moreover, I spent most time in that

on the ceiling to the masterfully painted waves

single, stunningly produced room. It was not only a

on the windows by my side. The Palazzo Vecchio

humbling experience for me, but it allowed for my

orchestrated an experience that would leave

empirical senses to expand and elevate in efforts to

anyone astonished. I could have taken a picture

fully indulge in the beauty that surrounded me.

of every glamour that I witnessed, but then again,

As I continued through the museum, I encountered

places like this merely need one’s eyes to suffice

many majestic rooms, each displaying a different

for a lifetime.




by Morgan Seemann Photos by the author

The Le Murate Progetti Arte Contemporanea is more

shifted from forms of constraint or oppression,

than a contemporary art gallery. It is on Via dell'Agnolo;

now stands as a source of artistic expression and

a location with rich history that has been rooted within

social events.

the building’s purposes for over 600 years.

Under the current direction of Valentina Gensini

Beginning as a convent in 1424, Le Murate was created


in order to harbor the lifestyle of the Benedictine nuns

Contemporanea has become a cultural center for the

and their “cloistered religious life”. This architectural

showcasing of both the past and present of this age.

style became particularly useful as the Murate complex

The gallery showcases contemporary artists and two

was transformed into a jail for male prisoners following

site-specific works, of which have been selected in

French rule in the 1800s. Today, this site has been

a way that showcases this underlying commentary

restored as a hub for cultural preservation, artistic

between the gallery’s past as a prison and the present

expression and entertainment. Its function, having

as an artistic freedom of thought. One of the site-







specific installations, named Nuclei (Vitali), is an audio installation within the old inmate cells that runs for 20 hours through old audio equipment. The audio is composed of stories and experiences in relation to imprisonment and the Murate jail itself, and fills the space with just an echo of what used to be contained within those walls. In a much broader picture, Le Murate Progetti Arte Contemporanea has become a mediator between the historical value of the Murate complex and the consistent speed of the contemporary world. With the additions of live performances, temporary exhibitions, movie showings, and other various events, the center becomes alive once again and establishes a new and renewed importance among the contemporary landscape of Florence. 7



by Olivia Kolkana Photo by the author

Time: Morning; 10:00 am Destination: Caffetteria delle Oblate Beverage: Cappuccino Via dell' Oriuolo, 26, 50122 Firenze FI The cold brushes my face and my

man sings a joyful tune as we make eye

shoulder and reminds me that it’s my

steps are surer than they were a week

contact while he fixes a light under

turn to order, even though the barista

ago. I brace the uneven pavement to

his umbrella. Shops are opening and I

has not made it to the front.

get to my morning sanctuary, a place

catch a bit of their warmth as I walk by. My first sip of my cappuccino is

I discovered on my second day in I realize the wrong turn I made and

soothing, mostly foam in the shape of

I wonder if anyone has noticed how

a white heart with a rich brown tint

I pass by people in their winter jackets,

many times I’ve walked past this

seeping in at the edges.

mainly of muted colors, hunting for

fruit stand.

this city.

Café Oblate seems to be split between

the nearest espresso shop to drink a few ounces of caffeine before they

Here we go. I see it looming in the

big parties talking loudly in their native

begin their day.

distance: highlighted by the golden

tongue, and those like me, typing away

rays of the sun so much so that your

on their laptops with their ear buds in,

It’s only when I reach an unfamiliar

eyes can’t help but stay locked on the

eyes squinting at the screen in front of

little market that I realize I might

dome itself, the Duomo, the jewel of

them. There are meetings occupying

have trusted my feet more than I

the city.

this space, projects, talks of the latest gossip, groups of three, of six, seven,

should have. But getting lost here is something of an art, one which I am

Dear reader, I hope I am helping you

eight. All ages. All smiles. It’s infectious,

learning to embrace.

paint a marvelous picture with your

naturally. As is everything else here.

eyes of what it’s like to walk the streets A man cleans the pavement in front of

of Florence. It is an art, one to be

I don’t wish for my coffee to grow cold

his store with a wet broom; another man

savored and explored quietly, carefully,

but it’s a sacrifice I am willing to make

clutches three dozen roses between

like your first time with a lover.

in order to sit here for as long as I can, soaking in the atmosphere. I lined my

his arms, a balancing act for the sake of romance. I think I’m beginning to

I am make my way up the stairs to

chair up to face the window of the

gather my bearings, although I am

the Caffetteria delle Oblate. I choose

Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, the

tempted to consult a map.

to take the stairs to once more get a

Duomo. This is morning in Firenze.

taste of the fresh morning air. Two The mornings are quiet here, but as

flights and then I come around the

people make their commute, they are

corner, the Duomo so close I feel as

not hesitant to stop and chat with

though I could reach out and touch it.

a familiar face. I love the morning because the sun has not yet painted

I’ve learned to always order an espresso

the buildings in yellow, so you can get

drink that contains milk before noon.

a clearer picture of the infrastructure

I’ve also learned that coffee drinking,

that make up this maze. I turn myself

especially in the morning, is a quick

around and head back the way I came,

act full of intent and purpose. I am

watching pigeons hunt for any sign of

reminded of this as a lady with white

food left over from the night before. A

hair and wrinkles taps me on the





by Katie Weiler Photos by the author

Monte Subasio, the part of the Apennines that Assisi is located on, allows visitors to look out into the valley and envision what life was like there hundreds of years ago. My trip to Assisi gave me insight into the religious influence in the lives of Italian Catholics today.

A thirteenth century Italian Catholic preacher, who would eventually become Saint Francis, grew up in the town of Assisi. He was a man of well means who went on to give up all of his personal items to the church. The story was one indeed worthy of a saint, a man giving up his worldly possessions for something bigger than himself. It made me reflect on my life and how attached I am to the material things I have. It was a slightly windy day, but the light breeze was not enough to deter the piercing sun. The white buildings of the church and squares seemed to be built with the sun in mind. Saint Francis was known to make the trek outside of the city walls to the Basilica of the Saint Mary of Angels where he would pray every day. Apart from the few modern buildings added to the town, Assisi appears to be a time capsule. I can almost picture Saint Francis travelling outside the city walls where there was nothing but fields. He was dedicated enough to his principles that he disregarded what other people thought and visited the Basilica everyday. The reverent character of Saint Francis was depicted in the artwork of the Basilica, which was his final resting place and the church that took his name. One significant painting I was fond of showed the Saint feeding the pigeons in the shade of a tree. In the middle of the


Basilica’s first floor, sitting in the pews and listening to the rich history of art mixed with Francis’ story, it was awe-inspiring to be in the same room as the paintings and frescoes dedicated to a greater meaning. Saint Francis is not only known for his own virtues, but for also promoting those of the people around him. He helped create a convent in the name of Saint Clare, a follower of his, that is still run by nuns today. The history of this town surrounded Saint Francis and his followers, built around his personal missions. This fact stuck with me throughout my tour of the city. While Assisi houses many intricate Basilicas and a rich history to go along with them, the view from the town is as inspiring as its story. Overlooking the valley through which Saint Francis traveled daily to follow his convictions and share the far-reaching message to be kind to all. For those to whom religion holds great importance, the Basilicas offer services and many visitors can be found dedicating their time to the late Saint. There were a number of present-day Italians saying their prayers and teaching their children about the saint. It was odd to be a tourist in someone’s dedicated religious space. Of all the cities we visited in our Cultural Introduction week, this city held the most culture for me, in that you could almost imagine what this city had been like for hundreds of years.





With spring just around the corner and daylight hours lengthening as the weeks go by, it’s a great time to reconnect with nature after a long winter. Students of the Travel Writing course reflect on their encounters with the natural settings that can be found in Florence and beyond its limits.


by William Campbell and Matthew Reyes Photo by Bridgette Bacon

I set out in the evening, wanting to find a spot to watch

walking. Past the view, I walked until I found a path on the

the sunset. Striding through the streets of Florence, I knew

side of the hill. The sun left me. I followed the path, with

where I wanted to go. Some place higher up, with a view

only the occasional light showing me where I was going.

that would encapsulate the entire city in all its splendor. So,

The sounds of cars and people faded. I was alone.

I crossed the Arno, heading towards the famous Piazzale

Suddenly, I found myself encircled by long, narrow trees

Michelangelo that I had heard so much about. However, as

that resembled the shape of upward shadows. The dusk of

I got up to the famous view, a sudden urge made me keep

the night closed in on me, while the surrounding darkness slowly constricted with each passing moment. Meanwhile, a mindful silence overtook my spirit, and I heard a faint wind whisper a song of melancholy. I smiled, as I meditated on the ambient peacefulness that became from this lonesome park. Strolling through, I could even hear bells coming from the city down below. I could not help but notice the goosebumps that crowded my arms as I reflected upon the pure tranquility around me. I thought, perhaps a quiet gloom speaks louder than listened to, and it might just be brighter than perceived. I felt at ease, I felt whole.


by Evan Turner and Rachel Stallings Photo by Olivia Kolkana

Sitting along the river on a crisp Saturday morning, I take

increasing, as they migrate from the left to the right; the

a deep breath and contemplate my surroundings. The

quiet to the noisy, the organic to the metropolitan.

constant rolling of the water, the serenity of the distant

It becomes increasingly clear to me that while the river

mountains, the quiet hum of early morning commuters,

divides, each side has an intertwined purpose, energy,

the bitter wind hitting my cheeks. People often miss

and personality that are best revealed in quiet of the

these small moments, but they are the ones that reveal

morning. These little things are a bridge that connect

the true essence of a place.

the left and right and make them one: a home.

As I sit along the cold cement ledge looking down the river, I find myself resting on the divide of the city. To my left, the peaceful countryside, with its rolling greenery and a single plume of smoke rising from the chimney of a farmhouse. To my right, the increasing energy of a city soon to be populated with tourists, weekend visitors, local artisans, and me. Clouds cover the sky, with only a small sliver of blue peeking through the cracks. Birds circle above, their calls cutting through the quiet morning and drawing my attention to the reflections of buildings in the glassy water. Watching each side of the river, I notice the population of commuters steadily



by Emma Olson and Anna Giulia Tonetto Photos by the authors

As the marmalade colored leaves have settled on the

being to listen with even more concentration. Leaves

ground, the skeletons of trees have the space to dance

awoken by gusts of wind, their hibernation temporarily

freely. February, reputed to be indifferent towards our

startled. The sloping hill, far from the city center, gives

preference of July, has let her core melt to the idea of a

their ears the chance to adjust to its own symphony

glacial winter. Lady Weather slowly starts to take a poll.

floating, waiting to be recognized, always patient.

Dubious that her seasonal patterns will be able to

Picking out the tones they don’t recognize as their

be restored, she must surrender to the fate that was

own, a moment of rhythm from above,a small bird and

enforced on her. Three figures on a Tuscan hill are

her wings rushing by. Noticing the comfort that there

climbing up, and stroll indecisively, unsure as to where

are other life forms besides their own, working, living,

they could settle down. They’ve marched towards a

making unfamiliar noises always continuing, whether

reclining, olive filled pasture, and claimed it “Ours.”

they decide to hear them or not. On this day, they

With the tips of three fingers, three hands scratched

had. Heads facing the skies, wondering how they could

scrupulously on the sun dried, uniform grounds. The

relieve Mother Earth’s thirst. The sun replied, with a tap

sound of silence had captured them, their only relief

on their barren shoulders; one last goodbye.



LOST IN FLORENCE, LOST IN THOUGHT by Victoria Carroll and Marco LaRocca Photos by Sydney McCourt

As I set foot toward Piazza Torquato Tasso at around

paint my own scene. A scene full of movement, life,

8:30pm, I intended to take in the silence of a park that

laughter, and good company.

was busy just hours earlier. Physically, I was completely

As I set foot on Via Roma, noise pollution invades my

alone in an empty playground. There were very few

ears as I walk down the street. Music from shops floats

people in sight, mainly those disappearing into the

in one ear and out the other, and the combination of

small market for groceries and others taking their dog

conversations from those passing by clogs my ears.

for a walk. Mentally, however, I was far from lonely. I

Tourists block the sidewalks, extending their arms at

was accompanied by a million thoughts and a wild

full length to take a panoramic picture and window

imagination. I catch myself staring at the vacant swings

shoppers stop mid-track, causing me to stutter in step. I

wondering when the last time it was that I’ve kicked

feel insignificant as an individual, like a single star in the

back and forth on one of those. Looking at the turf

sky. However, simultaneously I feel a sense of belonging,

soccer field, I picture a group of kids falling into place

knowing that we all are small stars in the sky, lighting up

in their usual positions and kicking off a friendly match.

the night of an unpolluted city together.

As I lean back on my bench, I observe the setting and



LA AFFASCINANTE STORIA DEI NOMI DELLE VIE FIORENTINE The students of the Italian Advanced I course explore the lesser-known streets and squares of Florence, narrating the stories behind the strange names they encounter.


by Katherine Lyons Photos by the author

Camminando per Firenze, si vedono molte strade e piazze con nomi sinistri e quasi spaventosi, come via dell’Inferno e via del Purgatorio. Uno dei miei luoghi preferiti in questa zona è Piazza del Limbo, una piazza con un nome inquietante e una storia un po’ triste che si trova vicino a Ponte Vecchio e a Borgo Santi Apostoli. È una piazza così piccola e nascosta che l’ho superata più volte al giorno senza rendermi conto della sua esistenza. Un luogo tranquillo e pacifico in una città frenetica. Alla piazza è stato dato questo nome perché era diventata un cimitero per i bambini morti prima di essere battezzati. Il Sommo Poeta, Dante, ha descritto il primo cerchio dell’inferno come un luogo in cui vengono emessi non gemiti, bensì sospiri da una fitta schiera di uomini, donne e bambini colpevoli solamente di essere morti senza essere battezzati. Non sono puniti come all’inferno, ma posti in uno stato di attesa detto “limbo”. Se ti trovi in Piazza del Limbo oggi, sappi che sotto i tuoi piedi ci sono i ciottoli che coprono le tombe dei bambini morti non battezzati dell’antica Firenze. Si affaccia su questa piazza una piccola chiesa del XI secolo, la chiesa dei Santi Apostoli, che si pensa abbia ispirato Brunelleschi nella costruzione delle chiese di Santo Spirito e di San Lorenzo. Per assaporare un angolo tranquillo di Firenze, Piazza del Limbo e le sue strade vicine come via dell’Inferno e via del Purgatorio sono il luogo ideale. La loro storia interessante ed un po’ macabra rende questi luoghi anche molto adatti ad un tour per la notte di Halloween.



VIA DELL’INFERNO by Brianna Soccio Photos by the author

Guardando oltre le strade frenetiche del centro di

per lo più da persone di bassa lega, dedite ad indulgere

Firenze, possiamo trovare luoghi con nomi di un certo

troppo nei piaceri del dio Bacco. I proprietari di questi

fascino come via del Purgatorio e via dell’Inferno.

esercizi, attuando strategie di marketing adatte ai loro

Essendo Firenze la città di Dante, a chiunque verrebbe

tempi, sapevano che nomi macabri avrebbero attratto il

da pensare che questi nomi abbiano un legame con

loro target di clientela. Una tendenza del resto comune

La Divina Commedia, con spaventosi richiami alla

anche ai locali più alla moda, che sembra avessero

religione, o che forse dietro a questi nomi si celino storie

nomi che oggi giudicheremmo un po’ inquietanti, forse

sanguinose caratterizzate dal crimine e l’omicidio. Certo,

per far pensare che la loro cucina fosse così buona

viene naturale pensare che qualcosa di terribile debba

da essere praticamente peccaminosa! Queste taverne

essere successo per giustificare un nome del genere,

ed esercizi oggi sono scomparsi, ma la loro memoria

che in inglese si traduce letteralmente in “Hell Street”.

è stata immortalata nei nomi di queste vie fiorentine,

In realtà queste strade non hanno niente a che vedere

apparentemente così tranquille ma dotate di storia che

con Dante e la sua prosa, né con la religione. L’origine

affonda le radici nell’essenza degli abitanti di questa

di questi nomi è tutt’altro che sinistra e deriva dallo


spirito un po’ profano e burlone dei fiorentini. Durante il Medioevo sembra che via dell’Inferno fosse un luogo in cui si trovavano molte taverne e alberghi frequentati



FLY LOOK OF THE MONTH Text by Alexandra Beller, Katy Jackson & Jack DiZillo | Photos by Katy Jackson | Modelled by Alexandra Beller As winter heads into spring, we introduce the new look

while maintaining a classic silhouette that hugs the

of the month: Edgy Chic. This look features two outfits,


inspired by the neutral tones present in Florence. Our

Our second look features a more classic appeal with

model is pictured with our emerging designer Tiche’s

the Tiche Flo Jumpsuit, but maintains an edge with

Emei Fantasy coat, Epoch Black pants, and 360 cashmere

the vintage Mongolian fur coat and gold turtleneck,

Skull top. The look is completed with the model’s personal

only available at Fly. To finish off the look, the model is

Jeffrey Campbell platform booties, black chain bag and

shown wearing a leather tote bag made by FUA student

Rayban Clubmasters. This look encapsulates exactly

Haley Jennings, and Jeffrey Campbell platform booties

what edgy chic is all about. Tiche’s clothing, specifically

from the model’s personal closet once again. Although

the Fantasy coat, has a unique pattern that gives off an

both looks have a different sense of rebellion, both are

edge, especially paired with the Jeffrey Campbell boots,

perfect for staying warm in style.



STUDENT VOICE by Heath Larssan and Cassidy Morales Photos by Heath Larssan, Cassidy Morales, & Olivia Kolkana

For centuries, books have been utilized to heal the souls of readers and quieten the anxieties of everyday life. Whether one turns to a book for advice, a sense of escape, or a comforting recipe, literature can provide support to those who seek it. Florence, in particular, is home to a unique pharmacy that prescribes books, not medicine, to its clientele. Students of the Bibliotherapy course visited this hidden gem and reflected upon what it has to offer to the Florentine community.


Have you ever read a book and felt connected to the

Elena is “prescribing” books to customers and readers,

characters or the story? Has reading ever given you a

a form of bibliotherapy brought to new life here in

new outlook on your personal problems, or helped you


through a personal struggle? Or do you even just need

Bibliotherapy is the practice of using stories and

some help to kickstart your love of reading again?

reading to help facilitate an environment

That’s exactly what Elena Molini, owner of Piccola

of healing. Elena was inspired to open this store after

Farmacia Letteria aims to do with the opening of her new

working in a traditional bookstore and

book shop. Translating in English to the Little Literary

having customers come in asking for recommendations

Pharmacy, Elena’s specific method of cataloging books

to help with their personal problems and feelings. In

in order to help readers through their current emotions

the selection of 300+ books, Elena has read them all

and problems has found success even after just being

and therefore can provide personal recommendations

open for a few months. Working together with a

through her own experience. Elena has been an avid

psychologist, Elena has categorized and tagged books

reader since a child, and stated that she, “sees books as

with colors that match a chart within the store that lists

a work of art, just like a painting, music or theater and

an array of emotions and problems such as unrequited

the emotions they create.”

love, stress, depression, and even happiness.. In a way,

In a materialistic world, Elena says that she also sees


books becoming a commercialized and “consumerized” product “just as a pair of shoes, or a jacket” might be seen. Through the opening of Piccola Farmacia Letteria, she is hoping to bring books back to their original art form. This new approach at a bookstore has gathered attention from not only Italian customers, but from customers and people all over the world, helping to also bring a new life to the dying form of traditional bookstores. Elena remarked that in this new climate with the rise of e-readers and Amazon, she wanted to bring a new approach to her bookshop while also meeting the needs of customers. Being that this is not a traditional store, it is not pushed by publishing houses, which market and sell for sales and to be in the top 10 spots of genres. Instead of supporting publishing houses, Elena is supporting her customers and their personal needs. The Piccola Farmacia Letteria has selections that span from the ages of children, young adults, and adults, so there is a book for everyone in any situation! There are also crossover titles, being that bibliotherapy is a practice that is meant for healing and for enjoyment. It’s important to note that bibliotherapy is not an alternative for serious mental health people, and although Elena’s method of categorizing is done with a psychologist, she does not seek to “cure” people. Closing our interview with Elena, she told our class, “So often we can find people and situations in books that are similar to ours. You can find a sense of empathy and also even see new approaches to similar situations and this can help the reader to overcome difficulties.” So stop by Piccola Farmacia Letteria, and find a book to suit how you’re feeling, you never know new emotions a book can take you to! *Piccola Farmacia is located at Via di Ripoli, 7 Red, 50126 Firenze FI. Titles are in Italian but are mostly translations from English and American titles and authors*





by Olivia Kolkana Photos by the author

On February 17th, I watched over a dozen papier-

the parade and the floats set off—some blaring music,

mâché floats parade in a city called “The Pearl of the

others spewing fireworks, and a select few that opted

Tyrrhenian.” I saw children, and grown adults, play dress

for fog machines and strobe lights.

up—some wearing handmade attire and others looking

There was a float depicting the struggles of migration,

as if they poured their life savings into their costume. I

one that honored revolutionist Frida Kahlo, another that

watched paper confetti and silly string being sold as if it

encompassed the theory of chaos, one that explored the

were the last loaf of bread on earth. I saw couples kiss,

issue of pollution, and that was just the beginning. Each

locals dance, and spectators gawk.

float was a moving political statement that transcended

Carnevale — an Italian tradition usually extending from

norms and spoke through colors, movement, words,

February to March that celebrates the lead up to Lent.

people, and symbols.

My boyfriend Jack and I made the 1.5 hour train ride

The spectators seemed to either go along or against

from Florence to the coastal town of Viareggio for this

the wave of the showcase. Some, including myself, kept

enormous spectacle.

inching so close to the floats that I grew afraid my toes

We arrived around 10:30 am, well before the parade at

might get run over; it seemed to be the norm. There

3pm, and took our time wandering down the promenade

were no barriers obstructing viewers from what they

lined with shops and restaurants. The stage that stood

came to see. I imagined from a bird’s point of view, we

against the sandy beach blared exhilarating pop music.

looked like a bunch of ants who were vying for the best

The early attendees went straight to a vendor to snatch

crumb at the picnic.

the best accessories for their outfits. Masks, rainbow

I remember being filled with a dazzling currant of

wigs, bunny ears: there didn’t appear to be any rules for

electricity, one that kept me in a constant state of awe

what you could or couldn’t wear.

and incredulity about what was happening around me. I

By the time 3pm fell upon us, people were grabbing

promised Jack we were going to bring our kids here one

their gelato and mediocre sugar-coated donuts from

day. And for you, dear reader, I urge you to attend this

the diabetes stands and finding a place to settle in. The

once-in-a-lifetime event. I feel so blessed to have been

traditional pop of gunfire signaled the beginning of

able to see it. Bravo, Viareggio, bravo.







Photos by Melissa Pistor FUA: Hi Melissa, tell us a bit about yourself. . . MP: My name is Melissa Pistor and while in college, I majored in Agricultural Business with a concentration in Graphic Design. I went to school in upstate New York at a small school called SUNY Cobleskill. Before going to college, I lived in a trailer for a year and travelled around the U.S., which gave me a love for traveling and meeting new people.

FUA: What have you been up to since leaving FUA? MP: FUA will always have a special place in my heart, as I finished my bachelor’s degree there. I graduated in 3 ½ years and I studied abroad my final semester of college. Since finishing college, I have applied to graduate school and in the fall, I will be attending Jefferson in Philadelphia. I plan to study Textile Design, MS focusing in knit. After coming back from Italy, I was promoted to office manager at my job which is also exciting!

FUA: Why did you chose to study at FUA? MP: The main reason why I chose to study at FUA is because I am interested in and passionate about knitting. In my undergraduate degree, I studied Agricultural Business so that I could have an understanding of where wool and fiber come from, and know more about the agricultural industry. Another reason why I chose FUA is because I wanted to learn about what happens after the processing of fiber, wool, and cotton is done, when it’s time to think of creatively imagining a fashionable garment. FUA turned out to be the perfect place where I could study fashion at FLY. I pushed myself personally and academically since I didn’t have that much prior knowledge of fashion before coming to Italy.



FUA: How did FUA help you develop personally and

be surrounded by my peers and friends who came


to watch the event. Oh the memories!

MP: I love telling people that the best decision I made was studying fashion for a semester. I vividly

FUA: What are your plans for the future?

remember working in the tailoring lab and Marysol,

MP: My plan for the future is to go to graduate

the lab assistant, was gently telling me that she was

school to become a knitwear designer. My long term

trying to push me out of my comfort zone so I could

goal is to find a way for farmers in the U.S. to use

learn new things, and my response was, “this is out

their wool to incorporate it into more clothing and

of my comfort zone!” I was learning so many new

products for a better price.

things and I was so afraid of failing. Before coming to Italy, I wasn’t really confident in myself or my abilities as a student and as a person. It wasn’t until I met Sabrina, one of the professors at FLY, that my life changed in so many ways. She believed in me

when no one else did. Instead of sewing an outfit for my Apparel Design class, she let me hand knit a dress for the fashion show, since she knew that was one of my talents. The dress turned out beautifully, because she believed I could do it. I never knew that I would be able to do all of this and more when I studied abroad. Sure, I traveled the world but the best part of my study abroad experience was what I learned at FLY. I wouldn’t be where I am today if wasn’t for those two amazing and wonderful ladies, Sabrina and Marysol; they poured time, energy, support, and kindness over my life and I am forever grateful. I know that I wouldn’t have pursued a master’s degree or continued to have a passion for the textile industry if I didn’t study at FUA and take classes in fashion.

FUA: What is your favorite memory from your time in Italy? MP: My favorite FUA memory is the fashion show! All semester long, the Apparel Design class spent time sewing, designing, and in my case knitting, an outfit to be featured on the fashion runway. This experience was the highlight of my career when I saw the knitted dress, which I spent so much time creating, on a model. I was so happy to




Supplemento di |

Direttore Responsabile | Editor in chief

Supplement to Blending Magazine

M atteo Brogi

Reg. Trib. di Firenze n° 5844 del 29 luglio 2011

Caporedattore | Editorial Director

Anno 9 - Numero 1 - Marzo 2019

Grace Joh

Year 9 - Issue 1 - March 2019 Coordinamento Editoriale | Editore | Publisher

Managing Editor

Florence Campus per INGORDA Editore

Shauna K avanagh

Via Alfonso Lamarmora, 39 50121 Firenze

Redazione testi | Copy Editors Christina Bogdani

Blending is a newsletter created

Sede editoriale |

Gina Esposito

with and for students of Florence

Editorial Headquarters

M adison Miller

University of the Arts, the

via dell'Oriuolo, 43

M adison Poulin

academic member of Palazzi FAIE.

50122 Firenze

The newsletter collaborates with

Tel. 055 2633 182/183

Consulenti Accademici | Faculty Advisors Catia Ballerini

the Student Life Department and Development Office.

Stampato in proprio |

A ndrea M ancini

For information contact:

Printed in house

Gaia Poli

Lisa Proteau Melissa Rossi Nicoletta Salomon Impaginazione | Page Layout

Bridgette Bacon Redazione fotografica | Photo Editor

Olivia Kolkana

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

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