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controls sleep. One type of tumor that starts in this

Bacciotti was diagnosed with pineoblastoma, a rare

gland is called a pineoblastoma.” The condition known as

form of cancer. Two years later on Dec. 19, 1999, he lost

hydrocephalus is caused by a build-up of cerebrospinal

his battle. In his memory, parents Barbara and Paolo

fluid in the brain.

Bacciotti created the Tommasino Hospitality Project. For the first time, Florence University of the Arts - The

Just a month after Tommaso’s passing, his parents

American University of Florence is teaming up with the

decided to create a scholarship dedicated to his memory.

Tommasino Hospitality Project to host a cooking class

This scholarship would help send a doctor to New York

for children currently fighting cancer.

to research more about the care and treatments of pineoblastoma. Within the following ten years, the

Pineoblastoma, also referred to as “pineal gland tumor,”

couple created the Tommasino Hospitality Project,

is a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer. According

an organization focused on the study, treatment, and

to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital website,

assistance for childhood cancers, especially brain

“The pineal gland is a tiny organ located deep inside the

tumors. Bacciotti said: “We lived two years, from 1997,

brain that secretes a hormone called melatonin, which

the year Tommaso was born, to 1999, the year he died,

continuously in the hospital. Hence after his death,

American University of Florence. This is the first time

my wife and I decided to create … the foundation and

the foundation has teamed up with FUA-AUF to host an

dedicate our lives to it.”

event. On Monday, March 23 and Monday, April 20, there will be a cooking class for the children, pre-teens, and

Eventually, the Bacciottis decided they wanted to do

teenagers currently in cancer treatment.

more for other families in need. When Paolo pitched his idea to give families free housing during treatment

The classes will be taking place at FUA-AUF’s Apicius

periods, it was met with ridicule. “To think that when

International School of Hospitality building on both days

we presented the proposal to the general manager of the

from 3pm to 5:30pm. Here, children and teens of all ages

Meyer Hospital and told him that we wanted to make it

will have the opportunity to learn a new recipe from

pro-bono, his reply was that it was a mistake. He thought


that it would instill the wrong idea in the families, that everything was given to them.” Baccioti continued, “We

While a cooking class may not seem to fix the heartache

want to make sure to give them as much as possible,

that families and children face during treatment,

since with a sick child you need all the help you can get.

Bacciotti’s ability to offer them a fun distraction from

This is what motivates us, since we went through the

such is just one of the many things that has motivated

same thing and can give back what we’ve learned from

him to continue to help those in need.

our personal experience.” “All of the families motivate [me] to stay.” Bacciotti By 2010, the Bacciottis opened up their first apartment

continues, “Whenever [I] see these new families coming

to families with children fighting the disease. Here, the

into the apartments smiling and having this opportunity

foundation covers all utility costs for families during

– this little ray of hope in … the dark time when you

their stay. According to the Fondazione Tommasino

discover that your child has cancer, every time [we] get

Bacciotti website, “the Foundation makes available to

a letter or … [a family] just wants to send a token of their

families of children hospitalized at Meyer independent

appreciation – all that motivates [me] and shows [me]

apartments offered totally free of charge by paying rent,

that [I’m] on the right path.”

maintenance and utilities.” According to their website, the foundation now has 22 homes open to families. “We have a great team of capable people that run everything.… almost like a small hotel” Bacciotti continued. “I do everything pro-bono. I don’t get any financial retribution from this activity – I do this in my spare time... While other people would prefer to either go golfing or fishing, I instead dedicate all my time to the foundation. It’s not easy, since I work as a chef and I’m not just an owner that counts the receipts at the end of the day, it gets taxing. But it’s all worth it in the end when we see the good we do.” According to Bacciotti, a feeling of “normality” is very important to children going through this process. While offering these apartments to families can help to ensure that a level of normality is reached, the foundation still aims to give the children and families more support and therapy options around Florence. The newest therapy option offered by the foundation is a collaboration with Florence University of the Arts – The 2



STUMBLING UPON AN ART GALLERY IN FLORENCE BY VICTORIA DE ANGELIS | PHOTOS BY THE AUTHOR Roccart Gallery’s display of unintentional feminism draws attention to the importance of actively seeking something to resonate with amidst the wide range of arts Florence has to offer. Every morning on my way to class, I use the adjacent Via delle Ruote as a shortcut from my apartment. When I realized I should be active instead of passive during my commute, I noticed a small gallery along this street, called Roccart Gallery. Stepping inside, I acquired the reward of paying attention to my surroundings. In its current installation, the walls of the gallery are adorned with works of various styles, mediums, textures, but with one commonality: they are all portraits of women curated by women. The descriptions of each installation focus more on the background of the artist, and less on the artistic vision; therefore, you make your own interpretation. Examining each piece, I felt the lack of explanation was appropriate because I understood and empathized with the emitted emotions. The portraits portray truths about the vulnerable experience of being

artists, aptly stating “La Tua Galleria D’arte” – your

a woman.

art gallery. In considering Rocca’s goals for the gallery centered on promoting emerging artists and continuing

This is properly exemplified in joint works “The Path-

to support those already established, this is fitting.

Giver” and “Sage” by Bianca Raha, which channels a legitimate take on playing with fire. The youthful,

The solely woman portraits at this time may be attributed

distinctly innocent subject conjures a sense of danger

to the latest opening of the downstairs annual exhibition,

and fascination with the natural element. Fire is typically

“She is Art,” on February 15th. This temporary themed

a symbol of passion, which leads one to believe the

installation, along with others featured in the lower level

subject may be making herself vulnerable to a new love.

of the gallery, will be shown for about a month – I will

She is tied to the fire by a contraption wrung around her

certainly be stopping by again.

hands, constricting her in what could be a dangerous situation, but she is too entranced with the fire to notice.

Fabio Rocca’s dedication to adding new talent to the

In my opinion, Raha conveys that passion can make us

contemporary and traditional art blend within Florence

distracted and potentially lead to pain.

goes to show the potential of every storefront in this marvelous city. Despite the theme of the gallery being

While a focus on women subjects is not novel in the

unintentional, I nonetheless felt enlightened in stumbling

grand Florentine art scene, this is unintentional by Fabio

upon a collection of works which embrace feminine

Rocca, the artistic director of the gallery. “For me, art is

identity. As long as one is tuned into the moment and

to be contemplated in all its forms, and for this reason

taking in their surroundings around Florence, there is

Roccart Gallery is not focused on a specific genre,” he

something for everyone to resonate with.

explains. On the gallery’s website the header addresses 3



“Shrouded in fascinating legends and regional rivalry, the creation of the beloved tortellini follows all the Eros within Italian cooking. The story goes that the goddess Venus stayed at a Castelfranco Emilia inn and a curious innkeeper caught a glimpse of her naked body through a peephole. Becoming so enraptured by the beauty of the goddess and her body in the flesh, the innkeeper rushed towards the kitchen and learned the art of making the tortellini by replicating Venus’ navel.” (Donati, 2016) Thus, the shell was born, and whether you choose to

familial process. Aromatic sage butters, spinach colored

believe such an origin story, tortellini have remained a

shells, and copious amounts of mortadella, the pasta

signature dish of Bolognese cuisine and for good reason.

can be emulated but rarely rivalled to the Emilian

Known for their matriarchal sfogline, generations of

classics. But tortellini are more than just appetizing

pasta makers have effortlessly hand-rolled tagliatelle,

stuffed shells; they represent a labor of love, family

tortelloni, and the regional namesake that is tortellini.

traditions, and the soul of home-cooking. It is a time

Making tortellini is an elaborate and deeply rooted

for socialization and gathering, rolling pins in hand, and



arguing over the right amount of Parmigiano and spice. Bolognese families hold their tortellini recipe close to their hearts, with “grandmothers and mothers [handing] down the tradition to daughters and granddaughters‌ little by little, [learning] to roll and then to cut the pastaâ€? (NPR), and later earning confidence in their techniques and filling ratios. The recipes may remain a secret, but Bolognese families and restaurants are more than willing to share their final product with anyone on an empty stomach. Making tortellini is an art all of its own, but thankfully, buying the fresh made pasta does not require generations of expertise, just a good eye for authenticity. Located in the vibrant Via Pescherie Vecchie, Ceccarelli Amedeo is a small family run deli complete with cured meats, fresh cheeses, balsamic vinegar, and a warm atmosphere. The navel shaped shells and their supersized counterparts take center stage in the outside display case, stopping locals and tourists alike for their hearty filled varieties. It is a charming shop with hardworking people, situated in the heart of the market. It offers a glimpse into the world of classical tortellini.



PIAZZA DEL LIMBO: SMALL SPACE, HEAVY HISTORY BY MAGGIE NARVIL | PHOTOS BY THE AUTHOR Right off of the sidewalk leading to the Arno River is a quaint

alone. Guests of the neighboring hotel trickled in and out

square that offers a calming stillness that the hustling city

of the square while taking curious glances at me, the wide-

sometimes fails to produce. The Piazza del Limbo is said

eyed girl who appeared to be lost. The wind squeezed its

to be named after a cemetery for unbaptized infants who

way into the square and rustled the three flags hanging

passed through the gates of Heaven but ended up in a

from the wall.

“limbo.” I turned and looked over my shoulder at the clothing store As I got a closer look at the Romanesque church, I would

named “Bagni Nelle Antiche Terme” which translates to

have never thought it held such a daunting story. The

“Antique Thermal Baths.” After realizing the clothing store

gloomy history is juxtaposed with the square’s blossoming

used to be a public bath house, I felt enlightened to be

flowers, chirping birds, and lively children making the world

discovering pieces of Florence by myself, and felt a drive

their playground. The narrow four walls of the piazza acted

to find more. The Piazza del Limbo presented a worthy

as a soundproof barrier to the rest of Florence, and once

challenge for me, I implore you to pay attention to little

a sound left the square it was not to be heard again. I sat

details and allow yourself to be guided by the not-so-

down on the stairs right at sunset, and as the chapel bell

obvious connections surrounding you.

began to ring a car drove by to subtly remind me I wasn’t




Laura Pausini è forse la cantante italiana più famosa al mondo. Se si ascolta la radio in Italia è impossibile non imbattersi in una sua canzone. Durante la sua carriera Laura ha cantato diverse canzoni che sono diventate grandissimi successi. Dal 1993 con la sua La Solitudine, da subito in cima alla classifica in Italia, Belgio e anche in Olanda, con il suo primo album che è stato numero uno anche in Portogallo e terzo in Italia. Da lì è subito diventata una stella di fama mondiale. Ha cantato musica non solo in italiano ma anche in spagnolo, e questo l’ha resa tanto famosa anche in Spagna; in America lei ha molti fan ispanici che ascoltano la sua musica, molto più degli stessi italoamericani. Dal suo terzo album, non ha mai smesso di cantare la versione spagnola di ogni canzone ed i suoi ultimi sette album, al primo posto nelle classifiche italiane, hanno tutti ricevuto il disco di platino. I temi della maggior parte delle sue canzoni sono l’amore e la felicità. Dal suo album La Mia Risposta, che ha pubblicato nel 1998, ha prodotto la musica e ha scritto tutte le canzoni, ed i critici hanno cominciato a rispettare




musica, non si trattava infatti più solo di canzoni per adolescenti, come spesso hanno definito la sua produzione musicale.




BRUNCH IN FLORENCE Get on your leather trench coat because it is chilly here in Florence. Sometimes, brunch is the best way to not skip breakfast and thanks to the FLY store, I was able to pick out the perfect outfit to have brunch in Florence. If you want that luxury look, leather is the way to go because it is a classic material and will forever be a necessity in your closet during the winter months.

I styled together some of my favorite leather pieces in the store front to complete FLY’s look of the month. I started off with the ‘terracotta’ trench coat which paired perfectly with the vintage Crocodile skin Ferragamo baguette bag. This bag is divine for a brunch look because it is lightweight and very 8


trendy at the moment. If you don’t feel like doing your hair, wrap a scarf around your head and your bun will go from messy to chic. Under the trench coat, I wore a super comfortable jumpsuit which can give you more room for mimosas and croissants, which is always a good idea. If you decide to remove the coat, the outfit has a completely different look that is great when wanting to capture more than one Instagram photo in one day. To tie the whole outfit together, I found brown, oversized sunglasses to cover the no makeup look. Next are accessories, an important part when styling a look. You do not always need a ton of jewelry, but if you have sunglasses and some earrings, you can catch anyone's eye in the streets of Florence. To finish off the outfit, I chose brown, leather boots with a short heel which are so comfortable and perfect for a walk to your brunch destination. Remember that vintage styles offer so many gems that have been in amazing condition for years. Please stop by FLY and see all of the stunning pieces that will have you looking trendy and glamorous this season. Ciao, bella!




However, Fiorentina has struggled the past few years.

Florence soccer team, Fiorentina, will rise to great

Rocco Commisso plans to revive the club and put

success once again. Florentines are happy to support

Fiorentina back on track to the top. “I like to under-

this new direction and excited to see the new future of

promise and overdeliver,” Commisso said to Forbes when

their beloved team.

asked about the future of the team.

Italy is known for its food, wine, and calcio, which is

Commisso is the founder and CEO of Mediacom Cable

soccer in Italian. Florence is no exception. Being Italian

Company which is based in New York. Commisso was

is almost synonymous with being a football fan and in

born in Calabria, Italy and immigrated with his family to

Firenze, most people root for the local club, Fiorentina.

the United States when he was twelve. He lived a simple

This club was founded in 1926, and later again in 2002

life but displayed leadership skills at a young age and was

following a bankruptcy. Since the team’s beginning, they

awarded a scholarship to attend Columbia University. In

have been at the forefront of the Italian series. The team

an interview for La Voce di New York, he expressed that

excelled within Italian borders, being crowned Italian

he has always been a fan of football, “It was the only

Champions and across the European stage, winning the

possible sport for me. I was seven, eight, nine years

UEFA Championship.

old, and when it was winter, we played in front of the train station” said Commisso, who later played through college, and eventually was invited to try out for the US Olympic team. In January 2017, Commisso purchased a majority ownership stake in the New York Cosmos soccer club and became the club's new chairman. He purchased the Cosmos while it was struggling financially and has since then helped revive the historic team, meriting him the respect to purchase the Fiorentina club in 2019 for 160 million euros.  Commisso’s acquisition spurred lots of mixed reviews in the press but most Fiorentina fans approve of this change in leadership. “I think it’s great,” said Marco M., a lifelong Fiorentina fan. “The team needed a change, and this is a good one. Commisso is passionate and has calcio in his veins.”  Despite spending most of his time the US, Commisso’s compromise and love for Italy will show through this team. He knows the city, the game, the business and the importance this carries. With leading the Cosmos to victory Commisso has proven that he can do the same with Fiorentina. Commisso’s command of the club sparks hope that this team will reach new levels of greatness. 




AN INTERVIEW WITH EMILY CARROLL BY FUA-AUF ALUMNI ASSOCIATION | PHOTOS BY EMILY CARROLL Introduce yourself. Hi! I’m Emily Carroll, and I am from Stevensville, Maryland. When did you study at FUA-AUF? I attended FUA-AUF from January 2017 to February 2018. While there, I completed the Baking and Pastry cadvanced and master-level career program. I also got to participate in TuttoToscana and a cooking competition with my fellow classmates. Tell us about your profession and/or what you have been up to since you left Florence. Since returning to the States, I have started my own catering business providing desserts for various types of events. Currently, it’s a small business run out of my house, but I eventually would like to open my own vegan/gluten free pastry shop that sells baked goods

day and memory at Fedora are my favorites. I still talk

and hosts lessons and cooking camps.

to almost all my friends made during my time at FUAAUF, some live in the US, but the others live all over

Why did you choose to study at FUA-AUF?

the world.

I chose FUA-AUF because I wanted to combine my love for travel with education and have a nontraditional

What would you say to any future students looking

college experience.

into FUA-AUF? To any student considering FUA-AUF, I would just say

Why Florence? Why Italy?

DO IT!!!! Attending FUA-AUF was definitely one of the

I had always wanted to go to Italy after learning my

best decisions of my life, and I’m super grateful for the

family is from Reggio Calabria in Southern Italy, and


I had heard many beautiful things about Florence,

I think convincing someone would be easy. Attending

making it the perfect destination for me. Florence is

FUA-AUF provides a very unique cultural experience.

also full of history that I loved learning about. If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they What did you do at FUA-AUF that helped you in

should study abroad at FUA-AUF, what would you say?

your career and/or in your personal growth? How

All the staff and instructors are super friendly and

did studying abroad (at FUA-AUF) change your life/

helpful. You’ll form friendships that will last a lifetime.

professional path/career? My time at FUA-AUF and studying abroad taught me so

If you could only choose one word to describe your

much about myself and encouraged a ton of personal

experience with FUA-AUF, what would it be?

growth, which helped me to realize my preferred path

One word to describe my FUA-AUF experience is:

in life.


Are you still friends/in contact with someone you met at FUA-AUF? I truly loved my classmates and instructors, so every 11


Coordinamento grafico e impaginazione |

Supplement to Blending Magazine

Managing Designer

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

Nora Ferrucci

Anno 10 - Numero 1 - Marzo 2020 Year 10 - Issue 1 – March 2020

Redattore Associato | Editor Livia Sturlese Tosi

Editore | Publisher Florence Campus per INGORDA Editore

Collaboratori Accademici | Faculty advisors

Via Masaccio 45/A 50132 Firenze

A lice Cozzi A ndrea M ancini

Sede editoriale | Editorial Headquarters

Catia Ballerini

Blending is a newsletter created

Corso Tintori 21

Jennifer Monti

with and for students of FUA-AUF.

50122 Firenze

Rosaria Parretti

The newsletter is published by

Tel. 055 2469016 Redazione testi | Copy Editors

campus press Ingorda, a member of the non-profit Fondazione di

Stampato in proprio |

Harton Megan

Partecipazione Palazzi - FAIE,

Printed in house

Molly Urnek Victoria De A ngelis

which supports the experiential learning methodology of FUA-AUF.


For information contact:

Direttore Responsabile | Editor in chief

Progetto grafico e impaginazione | Graphic


Livia Sturlese Tosi

design and layout Carrie Neville

Caporedattore | Editorial Director Tommaso Monaci

Redazione fotografica | Photo Editors Stephen Gerrick

Coordinamento Editoriale | Managing

Editor Jessica Lynch

palazziflorence.com fua.it

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


The first Spring 2020 Issue of the Blending Newsletter is out! Features in this issue include: the accidental discovery of an art gallery w...


The first Spring 2020 Issue of the Blending Newsletter is out! Features in this issue include: the accidental discovery of an art gallery w...


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