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QUARTIERE 3: FLY’S EMERGING DESIGNER SHOWCASE Every semester, fashion students from FUA host an event featuring a new emerging designer in their student operated store, FLY Fashion Loves You. Their last event, Don’t Let Fashion Go to Waste, honored the emerging designer Giuliana Becattini and her brand Begiuls. The night consisted of many speakers spreading the message about sustainability in fashion as well as a wine and dessert tasting. Every emerging designer that FLY features is recommended by the students of FUA after extensive analysis of both the designer and brand. On

by Shelby Olson

June 20th, FUA fashion students hosted another emerging designer, Stefano Arrighetti and his brand Quartiere 3 at their INGRAINED Vintage Festival. The event consisted of Stefano’s work on display, a live drawing session by artist Lorenzo Brini, music from local guitarist Fabio Binarelli, an olive oil tasting, a photo booth, and many more activities throughout the evening. Stefano specializes in bags made from the finest Italian leather in Florence and each bag is hand-stitched by Stefano himself. His studies in leather-work-

ing are the inspiration for each bag made from leather from the tannins of Santa Croce sull’Arno, well-known for their high-quality leather processing. Stefano draws his inspiration from passions and hobbies people may have and searches for a way to accompany these with a bag. His main goal is to see people wearing and appreciating his designs, not to mention the hard work that goes into each and every one. When Stefano was asked what his ultimate inspiration for designing

URBAN ART AT GANZO In just three weeks, the students from FUA’s Gallery and Exhibition Curating course planned, set up, and successfully opened Michele Vannucchi’s Urban Art show at the school restaurant, Ganzo. The exhibit premiered on May 31st and will run until July 11th. Michele Vannucchi, a self-taught artist, shared that his pieces have no specific meaning. He was inspired by the image of an African warrior which explains why the same face reappears in many of his paintings. Knowing this, the students were able to pick pieces that fit their chosen theme: multifaceted portrayals of faces. To prepare for the big event, the students wrote the opening night speech and took care of all the materials to promote the exhibit. They collaborated with three different FUA departments to produce the final drafts of the press release, catalogue, and

bags was, he answered, “What drives me is the dream to not be one of the numbers of a production chain or performing as a machine everyday of my life, but rather to create, from A to Z, all the objects that come to my mind. From designing, to pattern making, to cutting, assembling, and stitching, I put in each of these steps all the passion and care I possibly can, so that I can make each object a perfect one, yet unique.”

by Daniela Arguello and Izabela Zdunek Photos courtesy of Kimberly Gaston

event poster. As the curators, they also gave feedback on the designs used in order to create a show as they had envisioned it. As part of the experiential learning process in Gallery and Exhibition Curating, the students mounted the pieces inside Ganzo’s gallery space. With the freedom to choose where the paintings should hang, the students grouped the artwork to achieve aesthetic harmony, setting all the paintings along the same eye line to maintain a sense of flow and order, and neatly labeling each piece in the same manner. The opening of Urban Art was very successful. Students, faculty, and locals alike came together for this edition of AperiArt and the students learned first-hand all the aspects that go into curating an art exhibit. You can see the students’ hard work in person and enjoy the exhibit until July 11th, so don’t miss out! Urban Art by Michele Vannucchi Ganzo – Via dei Macci 85/r May 31 – July 11 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., 7:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.



JUNE 2017



by Regan Wheat Photo courtesy of author

Every two years, the contemporary art world takes up residence in Venice. Catch a glimpse of the contemporary trends in painting, sculpting, installation art, sound works, performance, and everything in between while winding through the waterways and hidden alleys of this historic city. La Biennale di Venezia is a contemporary art exhibition that has been held bi-annually in Venice for over a century. This year is the 57th Biennial and it includes more than 120 artists from 51 countries. One hundred and three artists and three countries – Antigua and Barbuda, Kiribati, and Nigeria – are participating for the first time. Artists’ works are located in the historic public gardens (Giardini), the former navy shipyard and armory (Arsenale), and scattered throughout the city in historic places, national pavilions, and deconsecrated churches. In addition, there are a host of collateral events and peripheral exhibitions promoted by non-profit national and international institutions in the city. One exhibition, Vive Arte Viva, is curated by Christine Macel who is only the fourth female curator in the history of the event. Macel is the chief curator of the Centre Pompidou in Paris and this is Macel’s third time at the Biennial. Her current exhibit, situated in the Central Pavilion within the Giardini and the Arsenale, is divided into nine trans-pavilions which echo the traditional structure of the pavilions. The trans-pavilions are organized as chapters or families of artists. They chronicle Artists and Books, Joys and Fears, the Common, the Earth, Traditions, Shamans, Dyonisis(female sexuality), Colours, and Time and Infinity. Most notable among the artists in the Pavilion of the Common is 77-year-old German artist, Franz Erhard Walther, a pioneer of minimal and conceptual art. As an artist, he has influenced many subsequent generations. He won the Golden Lion for Best Artist for his installation Wallformation (19831986) which is a selection of Schreitsockel (1975), or walking pedestals, that invite the viewer to enter his human-scaled textile structures. These vibrantly colored works sit between painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, and performance, and through public participation perhaps inspire the possibility to counter individualism with shared action. However, Olafur Eliasson’s Green Light Workshop (2015 – 2017) most clearly displays Marcel’s attempt to have art and artists stand for an alternative to individualism and indifference. Moved by the increase in migration and mass displacement, and the conflicted response by the European Union, Eliasson’s work tries to find a strategy that can be used from within. At the heart of the Central Pavilion, he has created a listening space for hospitality, trust, and collaboration. Eight migrant participants from different backgrounds were chosen by local NGOs to build the green light lamps designed by Eliasson and his collaborator, TBA21. The workshop provides vocational

training, language lessons, counseling, and job training. There is also a space where participants and the public can converse. In many of the national pavilions in the Giardini, art objects and exhibitions are activated by the collective action of the viewers. Performers and the public breathe the same air and occupy the same space. Punctuating the pavilion are questions of inclusion and exclusion, freedom of expression, freedom of movement, freedom from the past, and freedom to shape the future. The exhibition is open to the public 13 May - 26 November, 2017. More information can be found at: 3

LOOKING UP FOR INSPIRATION Looking up is a minuscule act that we do everyday. Some instances include looking up new information or looking up at the whiteboard in class. In life, as well as art, this action is usually meant to further one’s understanding of something or to inspire thought. Although this is a simple act that’s meaning often goes unnoticed, it has a religious connotation and now pervades our everyday lives through art and technology. In many works of art, such as the Ognissanti Madonna by Giotto, which is located at the Uffizi Gallery here in Florence, the saints and angels are depicted looking up at Mary and Jesus in admiration. In real life, churchgoers kneel and look up at the crucifix, often in prayer as they search for divine inspiration or intervention. This same theme of looking up as veneration is seen in the 19th century statue of Filippo Brunelleschi, located on the side of the Cathedral of Florence, in which he gazes upwards at the top of the Duomo. This is significant because he was the architect of the Cupola. The direction of the statue’s gaze signifies wonder and awe which cements this movement of looking up as a symbol of respect. Like the Brunelleschi statue, I too must look up to see the beauty of Florence. The Duomo rises far above my head and to properly admire it, to appreciate it as a feat of architecture and a piece of art, I must look up. In this way, I practice the same movements people have for hundreds of years in order to show 4

by Lorin Carroll Photo courtesy of Kathleen Milford

their respect for something they cannot comprehend. Slowly, I learn how to appreciate the Duomo and what it means to the people who pass it every day. By looking up, we gain inspiration and further our understanding of all cultures’ beauty.


JUNE 2017


FOOD & WINE by Kristen Burns Photos courtesy of author

On a field learning experience with FUA, the author visited the Sasso di Sole winery together with her classmates from their Italian Food Industry: From Farm to Table course. She recounts her experience meeting the family of this Tuscan establishment and shares some of its secrets to keeping crops disease- and pesticide-free. Sasso di Sole is a family-owned vineyard in Montalcino that produces organic wines and olive oil. The family does not use pesticides on their crops. Instead, a rose bush is planted at the end of every line of crops to detect disease. If white bubbles appear on the rose bush’s leaves, there is disease in the crops. The family then uses copper and sulfate to combat the disease. The wines produced are all D.O.C. and D.O.C.G. (Denomination of Origin Control and Denomination of Origin Control Guaranteed respectively.) The extra step for the D.O.C.G. wine is for it to be tasted by a panel before being bottled to ensure quality. Every step in the process for each of the wines produced at this vineyard is performed in Montalcino. Therefore, the wine can receive these classifications. The grapes are harvested in late September and the best grapes are hand-picked for wine production. The grapes are then put into large steel barrels where they ferment. The wine is then transferred to large wooden barrels. The barrels have a green contraption on top to prevent the wine from coming into contact with oxygen while still allowing the wine to breathe. The wine is stored in the barrels for a specific amount of time depending on the type of wine being produced. It is then transferred back to the steel barrels before being bottled. Visiting

the vineyard was an eye-opening experience for someone who knows very little about alcohol. I loved learning how different types of wine are made. It was fascinating to learn how much time and care is put into each bottle of wine. The owner’s son, who is eight years old, talked about every step of the process with pride and excitement. The family truly wanted to share its knowledge and lifestyle with us and teach us about the beauty behind the bottle. Sasso di Sole Pod. S. Giulia I, 48/A 53024 Torrenieri-Montalcino (Si) | +39 320 2155091



by Jill Stifano Photos courtesy of author

For a student abroad in Italy, cooking can often be viewed as a chore, especially when so many cuisine options are right down the street. However, exploring Florentine markets, with their fresh ingredients and friendly atmospheres, offers a unique experience with some of the best food around. A little prep time is a small price to pay (indeed, more affordable than most restaurants around) for a good meal among friends. One easy snack to make is zucchini chips. These thin slices of zucchini baked with flavorful ingredients are a great side dish for any home-cooked meal. First, head to your local market and gather fresh and inexpensive ingredients. Two of my favorite markets in Florence are the Mercato Centrale on Via dell’Ariento and the Sant’Ambrogio Market in Piazza Lorenzo Ghiberti, but any general market should have the necessary items. You’ll need a few zucchinis, a small block of Parmesan cheese, a fresh loaf of bread, garlic, salt, pepper, and some olive oil. Back in the kitchen, slice up half the loaf of bread into about 1/2-inch thick pieces. Toast these slices in the oven at about 450°F. Once medium brown, let the bread cool for a bit, and then finely crumble the toasted bread into a bowl until you obtain approximately 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs. Next, grate the Parmesan cheese into the same bowl, until you have equal portions of grated cheese and breadcrumbs. Mince one clove of garlic and add to the mixture. Sprinkle 1/8 tablespoon of salt and 1/8 tablespoon of pepper into the mixture, and stir until evenly distributed. Cut the zucchini into 1/4-inch thick rounds. In a separate bowl, toss the zucchini slices with olive oil until thoroughly covered. Dip each zucchini slice into the breadcrumb and cheese mixture, covering both sides. Lay the slices on a baking sheet and bake at 450°F until browned and crisp, about 30 minutes. Last step: enjoy your yummy, healthy, and homemade snack with friends!



JUNE 2017


TRAVEL by Rachael Reynolds Photo courtesy of author

Stained glass is one of the most important architectural decorations found in Italy. This article explores how the color of stained glass compliments classical antiquity’s simple interiors. Although stained glass did not originate in Italy, it was quickly picked up by many Italian artists. During the Romanesque and Gothic periods, churches began to install colored glass often depicting scenes of the lives of religious figures and saints. Stained glass offers a way of allowing light and color into the space, addressing the previous lack of vibrancy inside churches. Later, Renaissance artists such as Donatello, Andrea da Firenze, and Giotto played a role in this new expression of color. Many churches around Italy including the cathedrals in Florence, Siena, Arezzo and Milan, all display amazing stained glass, some original, some restored over time. Florence’s Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore is an excellent example of how stained glass was used in the Renaissance. Throughout the church, every large ocular window contains a scene of the life of Christ or the Virgin Mary, framed by floral borders. Smaller windows done by Lorenzo Ghiberti show St. Stephen and St. Lawrence, the martyred deacons. These scenes are incredibly important pieces in the Duomo’s art collection. Italian churches tend to be grand for a number of reasons, but it is their individual embellishments that make them unique. Not only does stained glass bring an added aspect of beauty to these churches, but also represents the art from the time when they were built. Older churches can claim their frescos, sculptures, and altarpieces but stained glass enhances the beauty of the gospel and how it is shared.

MONTERCHI AND MATERNAL LOVE Monterchi is perched on a hill approximately a hundred kilometres from Florence. I was drawn to it after I saw Piero della Francesca’s works in Arezzo. To learn more about his life and his art, my friends and I journeyed across the lush green landscape that Madonna del Parto by Piero della Francesca led to the small village. After we stepped off the bus, we proceeded towards the Museum of Madonna del Parto – a museum entirely dedicated

by Nitish Sudhir Soundalgekar Photo courtesy of author

to Piero della Francesca’s work by the same name which he painted in a church in the mid-fifteenth century. The Madonna is visibly with child and is painted in royal blue, symbolizing the divine quality of humanity, flanked by angels. Her gentle expression invoked warm memories of my own mother, who works hard to make my dreams come true. In the painting, an angel opens the curtains; this indicates the heavenly birth of Christ. The brown element in the work stands for the earth which in turn signifies fertility. The natural serenity of this piece and of Monterchi itself blends to create the perfect place for the soft image of a pregnant Madonna. According to historians, Piero was very close to his mother and Monterchi was her birthplace. This explains why he chose to paint this work, which he dedicated to her and finished before her death, in this village. Honoring my mother the way Piero did his will always guide me through my life.



FLY LOOK OF THE MONTH Make sure to put your best foot forward this summer and stay in tune with current trends. Some styles to focus on this season include florals, neutrals, textured accent pieces, metallic, and of course, Italian leather. Our model is featured wearing a textured white Theory tank, Prada trousers, Stella McCartney wicker heels, a Neiman Marcus floral jacket, all carefully selected from our vintage collection, as well as a straw hat made by FUA student, Rachel Crossley, and a handmade artisan leather backpack from Quartiere 3. This look


by the FLY Student Team Photos courtesy of Allison Egrin Model Andrea Bilgrien

accentuates local made garments and trends, as well as the Italian aesthetic. This look is wearable and practical, as well as a bit more conservative for the summer, while still keeping up with current fashion trends. This is perfect for women on the go who are looking for something to wear from day into night. The look of the month was shot in a hidden Renaissance garden in the historical centre of Florence. The planter featured in the shoot is from 1912, and outside the garden gate is a beautiful view of the historical river, Arno.


JUNE 2017

FLORENTINE STRIPES Stripes in all shapes, colors and sizes are a sizzling summer trend in Florence. FUA's Introduction to Digital Photography students captured these images as part of their "Fashion Street Style in Florence" assignment.

Photo by Danielle Nill

Photo by Kathleen Milford

Photo by Kathleen Morlock

Photo by Kayde Hambaum

Photo by Madeline Holifield

Photo by Kathleen Morlock




by the Abbey Moran Photo courtesy of Kathleen Milford

After the initial discomfort, studying abroad can feel like finding a second home. And once it’s over, it feels like leaving home all over again.

Every experience abroad is unique but all study-abroad alumni know there will be times when you feel unprepared or out of your element. Embrace the chaos. When lost, take a deep breath and realize you are lost in a country that many people only dream of visiting. When surrounded by unfamiliar faces, remember that it is human nature to want to connect. Enjoy the cultural differences but also acknowledge your feelings and make adjustments to feel comfortable. Change is inevitable. You can never do, see, or remember it all but you will be changed by it all. And while the initial homesickness may be disconcerting, what may catch you more off guard is how you feel upon returning home. The post-abroad blues leaves you missing your home away from home. The absence of sirens, the lack of people on bikes or on foot, in cars or taxis – the silence can be stifling if you go from the city back to the countryside. Hundreds of strangers, tourists, and locals no longer remind you that you’re a part of the hustle and bustle of the city, that you’re not alone. The amenities you missed at first may feel unimportant after weeks abroad. You’ve gotten used to the strange sounds, careful budgeting, and a variety


of cultural differences. When you go home, all of that gets flipped on its head and your own country is strange, different. Or maybe you’re different. Most likely, you’ll return home and not feel fully at home. In another city, another country, you’ve left behind a piece of yourself. You feel split between two homes. After coming home from months away, you expect to feel a sense of relief. But instead, it may be a sense of peace. You survived. You lived on your own, without your parents. With a new city at your fingertips, you explored the streets and navigated a whole other culture. The peace stems from knowing you made the most of it and being proud of yourself for doing so. Slipping back into the monotone of your life back home may leave you restless and disconcerted, wishing for the chance to return to the place that made you feel a different kind of alive. No matter where you travel or study abroad, there is no place like home. But home is also where the heart is and afterwards, your heart is in two places. Trust that the second half will wait for you, that it’ll be there when you come back, and that it’s never a bad thing to have two homes.


JUNE 2017

STUDYING ABROAD WHILE STUDYING ABROAD Many college students dream of studying abroad but never get the chance. Kei Yoshida, a freshman at Monroe Community College, is studying abroad while studying abroad! She is a jet setting 19 year old from Tokyo, Japan who came to MCC in Rochester, New York with a school visa to start off her college career as a Hospitality major. Like many young travelers, she was scared to begin her journey. Her biggest fear was the language barrier. Kei learned English in high school and wasn’t yet confident in her speaking abilities until she completely immersed herself in the culture while living in New York. When she saw that MCC offered a summer study abroad program in Italy, she couldn’t resist. She has always had a passion for travel and has visited over ten countries

by Alex Hutton Photo courtesy of author

with her family. Kei’s wanderlust kicked into over drive and she packed her bags for Florence. Like coming to the United States, the most challenging and nerve racking part of her trip to Florence was the fact that Italian was not her native language. Here in Italy, Kei is studying Italian and trying to familiarize herself with the culture. She is dedicated to the learning process and writes the words or phrases she is taught in her journal in Italian, then translates it into English, and finally translates it into Japanese to help her understand everything. She is living the traveler’s dream life and making the most out of her college years. She certainly has shown extraordinary courage and deserves credit for her ability to dive into the unknown with such ease.



CATIA BALLERINI ON INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION In Fall 2016, FUA launched its first courses in the area of International Education at the graduate level: Strategies for Effective Teaching in International Education Experiential Learning and Advanced English for International Educators. Starting in Fall 2017, these two courses will be a part of an expanded selection to give participants the opportunity to complete a Graduate Certificate in International Education. Catia Ballerini, currently the administrator and the general coordinator of the Italian department at FUA, took both offered courses which began in last September and ended in May. She found the Strategies for Effective Teaching course

interesting as it was a reflection on the theory of teaching. It allowed her to connect techniques she knew from experience with the theory behind why they were useful. While she discovered that many of the teaching strategies she had previously employed were indeed suited to an international classroom, the course allowed her to better understand the theory behind them and to be more conscious of the reasons why these methods are effective. The most meaningful part of the course for Catia was the opportunity to share her experience and strategies with other instructors. This practical, hands-on component of the course allowed the teachers-turned-students to discuss how they dealt with common issues that arise in a multicultural classroom. Often, she says, 12

by Jessica Rowe Photo courtesy of Kathleen Milford

instructors develop a personal teaching style and do not seek out new strategies. Having had the opportunity to exchange ideas in this course, she feels she herself, her teaching, and the way she interacts with students has been enriched. As Catia has taught for many years, she understands that the way students learn evolves overtime. Because of this, the difficulties of teaching in an international classroom vary depending on the students that make up the class. She finds when teaching Italian to English-speaking students,the students often have little need to learn a second language and so have little experience in this field. Therefore, she works to cultivate their interest in learning through using their names, engaging them in different activities, always looking for new ways to interact with them. In the course, she also advanced her technical skills, such as learning to make clearer syllabi, study guides, and lesson plans. She says this makes her day-to-day work easier as she is now more confident in how to do things and finds herself more organized. The importance FUA places on the organization of courses and lessons is evident in the Strategies for Effective Teaching class. Catia will pursue the Graduate Certificate in International Education in Fall 2017 when the other courses in research, technology, and student diversity become available. She believes it is always important to improve upon her current work and hopes the program will also allow her to better guide other instructors towards more effective teaching styles. She especially looks forward to taking the Innovative Practices and Technology in International Education course as she wants to find new ways to teach the Italian language through the use of technology. Catia believes learning new theories and practices in technology use in the classroom is fundamental for keeping up with the world her students live, study, and work in. Catia looks forward to continuing her own education and to the opportunity to further explore these and other aspects of teaching in an international, multicultural classroom.


JUNE 2017


A CAROUSEL OF CITIES The sun was down the first time I wandered, by accident, into the Piazza della Repubblica. I was immediately taken aback by the magic of the place. The piazza is ringed by fancy restaurants and backed by the wall that marks the centre of the city. Right in the middle sits a carousel. At night, it is lit up with fairy lights and illuminates the square. The carousel is owned by the Picci family who had it built in the early 20th century. Carlo Picci, who currently runs the carousel, is part of the fourth generation to do so. The fifth generation helps to run it as well while the sixth is still happy just to ride it. There are only twenty horses and two king’s carriages on the carousel but Carlo Picci likes it that way, saying it leaves plenty of room for parents to ride with their nervous children. From the beginning, the carousel was meant to be enjoyed by a family. The carousel’s music rarely plays but, when it does, it plays accordion versions of Neapolitan ballads. Every day from November to May, the carousel runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The carousel is a piece of art gilded and painted mostly in reds and blues. The centre post features paintings of Roman gods and, of course, the mirrors found on most carousels. Around the top of the carousel are paintings of other Italian cities such as Rome, Pisa, and Venice. These paintings are done in brilliant colours with the skies and oceans the clearest shades of blue. The buildings have a soft, unrealistic feeling to them, like the artist was trying to show a perfect version of Italy instead of a true one. In many of the pictures, the buildings are seen from a distance, throwing the viewer into the role of an observer instead of placing them in the city itself. These paintings are framed in gold and oddly shaped, further adding to the feeling that they show something magical and idealistic. Even though the paintings are done this way, it is

by Jessica Rowe Photos courtesy of Kathleen Milford

easy to recognize the cities for someone who has been there. I highly recommend going to the Piazza della Repubblica and riding the Picci family carousel. It is a unique chance to be a part of a piece of history and will make you feel like you know true magic.


A TOUR THROUGH ROMAN FLORENCE While the products of the Renaissance and Neoclassical periods are visible on every street corner in Florence, no visit to the ancient city would be complete without digging a little deeper to discover works of the earlier Roman and Medieval periods in Florence. History surrounds us as we walk down the uneven stone paths of Florence, but history is under our feet too! The city of Florence was built from a Roman model starting around 100 BC. Two central roads ran perpendicular through the ancient city and a single bridge, now known as the Ponte Vecchio, connected the city to the land south of the river. Outside the original city, an amphitheater was once the location of public events. While Florence has now expanded outside the original city limits and new structures have replaced many of the original buildings, the ancient city can still be observed if you look closely. A great place to start exploring the ancient city is Piazza della Repubblica. The piazza sits on top of what was once the Roman main square, or Forum. It is now the site of a carousel, surrounded by bustling cafes. One can imagine the ancient square as the center of political, religious, social, and economic activity hundreds of years ago. Just a five minute walk away from Piazza della Republicca is Piazza della Signoria. Today, the Palazzo Vecchio and la Loggia dei Lanzi are visible on the square. In ancient Florence, however,this was the site of the Roman Theater and the Fullonica. Palazzo Vecchio sits where the Roman Theater once stood. The theater drew up to 2,500 people for shows such as comedies, tragedies, and pantomimes. La Loggia dei Lanzi, now famous for the sculptures it showcases, sits on the site of the former Roman Fullonica, meaning “laundry,” and bath house. The bath house, known as a Roman Therm, was complete with a

by Sarah Hardin Photo courtesy of Kathleen Milford

calidarium, tepidarium, and frigidarium and was decorated with intricate mosaics, marble, and statues. Continuing down Via dei Gondi along side the Palazzo Vecchio, a curving street called Via de’ Bentaccordi comes into view. The road creates a circle around various shops and restaurants. This was once the location of a Roman-style amphitheater, located just outside the city walls. The amphitheater once held free shows such as, gladiator and animal fights. Walking around the curving street today, one can imagine what it might have been like to enter the large amphitheater hundreds of years ago. While the Florence of today is packed with beautiful architectural history, it is incredible to imagine the history that dates back even farther than the construction of the piazzas we see today. While hitting the tourist hot-spots of Florence, take a moment to reflect back on what once stood in their places. Imagine what it would have been like to tour the ancient Roman city that later blossomed into beautiful Firenze.


by Kathleen Milford

Introduction to Digital Photography Experiential Learning student Kathleen Milford chose to capture one of Florence’s most iconic landmarks, Ponte Vecchio, in digital images.



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Romina Wagener is a repeat alum of FUA and Apicius, having studied there on three separate occasions since 2015. Originally from Peru, Romina has lived in Orlando, Florida since 2008, where she worked her way up the ranks in the culinary world. She is currently a sous chef for Morimoto Asia, a Pan-Asian restaurant at DisneyWorld. She shares with our Alumni Association how she got where she is now and how studying with Apicius through the TuttoToscana program opened up a myriad of professional doors for her. Romina first started studying Culinary Arts in 2001 at Le Cordon Bleu in Peru. While she was working towards a degree in Mass Media and Communication, an aunt saw her innate talent for cooking and encouraged her to pursue her passion. She finished her studies in Peru and then moved to the US to advance her career as a chef. It was there that she decided to travel to Italy to continue her personal and professional growth. “I wanted to keep learning different techniques and cultures, and Italy seemed like a great place to do this,” she shares. Her first Apicius course was Italian Food and Culture in the spring of 2015. She learned the fundamentals of Italian culinary culture, including the basics of wine tasting which she says is “essential for any chef to understand.” She also learned the differences between various types of olive oil and how to make traditional pastas, Italian breads, and gelato. Thanks to this experience, she received a job at Disney Epcot’s Tutto Italia restaurant where they serve handmade pasta with pesto (Romina’s favorite!), lasagna, and tiramisù. Always willing to learn more, Romina joined the Apicius Baking and Pastry crew for TuttoToscana in October 2015 in New York City. She says the experience was intense, fun, and helped

ALUMNI PROFILE by the FUA Alumni Association Photos courtesy of the Alum

her professional development as during the week they put on four different events in four different parts of the city. The event that stood out for Romina was the James Beard Foundation dinner. She recalls a decadent dessert orchestrated by Chef Simone de Castro and his B&P students which they named “The Heretic” - five different types of chocolate in five different textures, united in one dish. Afterwards, Romina received a slurry of job offers. “When they see that you’ve cooked at the JamesBeard Foundation in NYC on your resumé, it opens so many doors,” she confides. Her next move was to her current position at Morimoto Asia. She describes a typical day: “I go in at 9am, double check the schedule to make sure everyone is there. If someone doesn’t show up, I have to do their job as well as mine so that takes planning. I make sure we have all the necessary ingredients so that the kitchen can open by 11am. From there, I do anything and everything, from prep, to cooking, to working on the line or plating. I rotate stations, sometimes the wok or sushi stations, sometimes the dim sum or ramen stations, though lately I’ve been working at the peking duck station. We have a family meal for the kitchen staff at 3pm and then we start all over again. I go until 9pm. It’s a long day, but I enjoy the responsibility I have.”Romina considers herself a cooking nerd; she wants to know everything there is to know about cooking. This past spring, she returned to Apicius to take part in the Precision Cooking and Texture Development course. “This was something new for me,” she states. “We studied how food molecules react when they interact with each other in combination with heat or cold, and what that results in.” From making fizzy fruit by carbonating apples and grapes to the sous vide technique (removing oxygen from the environment for a more controlled temperature), Romina has grown her skill set and is ready to take what she learned back to the professional kitchen. She dreams of opening her own restaurant in Florida that features Peruvian dishes made with local ingredients and modern techniques. Her advice for students just starting out in the culinary world is,“Get as much hands on experience in the kitchen as you can before you decide to be the boss.” After nearly 17 years in the field, she says she still wants to know more and is excited to learn by doing.

Lomo Saltado

Strawberry Pistachio Breton Tart




Supplemento di / Supplement to Blending Magazine

Direttore Responsabile / Editor in chief

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

Matteo Brogi

Anno 7 - Numero 4 - Giugno 2017 Year 7 - Issue 4 - June 2017

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Development Office.

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Lapo Morgantini, Gianni Rossiello,

For information contact:

Giulia Mangione, Marco Gualtieri Impaginazione / Page Layout Lindsay Harmon Redazione fotografica / Photo Editor Blending Staff

p e r F l o re n c e C a m p u s E d i t o re

BLENDING Newsletter June 2017  
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