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by Blending Staff

Photo courtesy of the author

We kicked off our first ever FUA Alumni Week on Tuesday January 9th with a welcome reception at Corso Tintori. Our alumni met with the FUA Alumni Coordinator, Mattia delle Piane, the Dean of Students, Cristiana Gallai and the Student Life Manager, Alice Cini. Our guests were treated to a beautiful buffet courtesy of Fedora, and had a chance to get to know each other better over some sweet treats. Our returning students couldn’t wait to re-experience the campus, and the Apicius alumni were particularly excited to return to the kitchen for a group Italian Cuisine lesson.

On Wednesday, our alumni learned more about the newlylaunched FUA Alumni Ambassador Program. They were introduced to our two new FUA Alumni ambassadors for 2018, Samantha Lucenti and Kerry Callender, who were nominated at the Fall 2017 JBF Alumni Gala Dinner in New York. Our alumni were also updated on future prospects for FUA, and heard about the upcoming challenges, goals, achievements and projects of the institution. Our former students were interested to hear about how FUA has changed since they were last in Florence, and how FUA is moving forward.

Our alumni then returned to class for an Italian wine tasting with Professor Carlotta Dini; it was an amazing lesson and everyone had the chance to try specialty Tuscan wines, cheeses and cured meats. More food and wine were enjoyed at Aperiganzo in the evening; our alumni had the opportunity to meet current students as well as FUA staff, and share their fond memories of FUA and what they’ve been up to since leaving Florence. Apicius faculty member Massimo Bocus gave our alumni the opportunity to “taste Italy” on a culinary tour, and they vis-

ited various markets and enoteche to taste typical Tuscan dishes paired with local wine. Finally, the week was wrapped up with an emotional farewell dinner at Ganzo. Our alumni left Florence having made new friends and connected with old ones; our past students will always remain a part of the FUA family! For upcoming Alumni events please reach out to alumni@fua. it and sign up to become a registered member of our Alumni Association at


FLORENCE’S MUSEUMS ACCESSIBLE TO VISUALLY IMPAIRED VISITORS Having a genuine museum experience is often impossible for those with disabilities. Inclusion is a long-term problem in museums, that has only recently come to light; and Florence is at the forefront of making museums accessible to the blind and visually impaired. The Uffizi Gallery offers a tactile tour, providing a comprehensive museum experience for those with visual difficulties. The Uffizi provides tour-goers with a staff member to guide them through the winding halls of the museum. The tour is provided free of charge, as is entrance to all of the State Museums of Florence, for those with a documented disability.

by Julianna Whalen

Furthering accessibility, the descriptive texts at the Uffizi Gallery and Palazzo Pitti (a Medici palace) contain braille overlays in both Italian and English. Palazzo Pitti prevents blind visitors from getting lost with a textured map overlay. Palazzo Pitti and the Uffizi Gallery are not the only Florentine museums making efforts to include visually impaired visitors. The Museo Galileo offers Braille guidebooks and tactile tours free of charge; the tours incorporate both originals and replicas. Other museums offering accessibility to the visually impaired include the National Archaeological Museum, Bargello National Museum, and Orsanmichele. Photo by the author, bas-relief of The Birth of Venus

Visitors on the “Uffizi by Touch” tour are given latex gloves, and able to feel designated Greek and Roman marble sculptures. Many of these pieces were part of the Medici family’s original art collection. A bas-relief copy of “The Birth of Venus” sits next to the famous painting, allowing those with visual impairments to experience Sandro Botticelli’s work. According to the Uffizi Gallery, one of the main goals of the tour is to “discover the relationship between the ‘solids’ and ‘voids’ of the artwork.” 2


MARCH 2018



by Gregg Casazza

This month’s Travel Section keeps things local with an article on the doors that were a part of Florence’s ancient city walls and Italian-language articles of reflections on life in Florence. Photos by the author

Over the course of several centuries six walls have been constructed to protect Florence. These walls expanded from the center of the city, and eventually protected the farthest districts of Florence. However, due to age, siege, and modernization, many of these walls have crumbled over time. In fact, only the the walls surrounding Oltrarno remain, making them incredibly potent reminders of Florence’s ancient past. The walls of Florence have defended the city from outsiders and numerous attacks.The original wall was located in the area between today’s Piazza del Duomo and Piazza Santa Trinita, and protected just over 1,000 inhabitants. Over time, the population of Florence grew, and so too did the need for more expansive walls, which led to the addition of five subsequent walls. Oltrarno, which lies on the other side of the Arno River, is home to the sixth wall of Florence, and with it some of the most noteworthy portas and towers as well. This wall was noticeably taller than its predecessors standing at 35 meters tall. The walls were painted with religious frescoes, and were adorned with statues of famous Florentine writers or poets in the squares in front of each of the gates. This showed the great deal of craftsmanship and dedication that the builders of these walls had. Much of this art can still be found. The sixth wall, sometimes called the sixth circle, also boasts landmarks such as the Porta San Frediano, and the Porta San Niccolò. The Porta San Frediano stands over the eponymous district, and was originally an extremely important route to Pisa. This gate is still used today as a means of travel, with commuters travelling freely through this gate to the west. It was never fully finished in height, but was one of the most remarkable gates when it was constructed due to its massive size. The Porta San Frediano, which lies before the Piazzale Michelangelo, looks more like a tower than a gate today due to its slender stature, but was used initially as an access point to the east. It is the only gate which was never lowered, and still stands at its original height from 1324. The gate also serves as an entrance to the Piazzale Michelangelo. The sixth wall encloses the largest area of any of the walls of Florence, and when it was built much of this space was left open for lush Renaissance Gardens. Over time these gardens have become neighborhoods or streets, although many of the original gardens still remain in some way or another in the Oltrarno district. Construction on this wall started in 1284, but due to numerous issues the wall wasn’t completed until 1333. Something must be said of the protective nature of these walls that they are still standing all these years later. The remnants of these walls, towers, and gates tell the story of Florence’s ancient past, and show how much the city had grown from just over 1,000 inhabitants to over 380,000 now. This is the purpose that the sixth wall still serves today. It is not just a functional access point for the city, it is a reminder of Florence’s past and of its growth. 3



by Spring 2018 Advanced Italian Language Students

This month’s Travel Section keeps things local with an article on the doors that were a part of Florence’s ancient city walls and Italian-language articles of reflections on life in Florence. This month’s Italian language contributions feature FUA students who share slices of their lives in Florence Alessandra writes of the street where she is currently living, and Giulia describes how the initial challenges of adjusting to a new country lead are an important part of cultural integration.


by Alessandra Montesanto

La mia strada si trova a pochi isolati dalla bellissima Piazza di Santa Croce. Vivo in un condominio con altri studenti. Siamo tutti della stessa università negli Stati Uniti. Vivo al quarto piano e divido un appartamento con altre tre ragazze. Il nostro condominio si trova in Via Ghibellina. Questa strada include tanti tipi diversi di edifici e attività commerciali. La maggior parte di questi edifici intorno a noi sono ristoranti: trattorie, caffè, gelaterie, alcuni bar e locali notturni. Ci sono anche negozi, attività commerciali di fiorentini e stranieri residenti in italia. La maggior parte dei clienti di questi negozi e ristoranti sono turisti. Se cammini per dieci minuti lungo la nostra strada, arriverai in Piazza del Duomo. Questo è sicuramente il più grande sito turistico e considerato il cuore di Firenze. Tra il Duomo e Santa Croce, la nostra strada conduce ad alcuni dei luoghi più importanti e più belli che non bisogna perdersi quando si visita l'incredibile città di Firenze. Photo by Andrés Villeta

CIAO, FIRENZE! Firenze è una città molto bella, situata nella regione Toscana. Ho scelto Firenze perché voglio imparare l’italiano ed è una città più piccola di Roma. Ho pensato che Firenze avrebbe avuto meno turisti di Roma, ma non è così. Sento che qualche volta è difficile trovare luoghi fiorentini autentici. Ma nonostante tutto è ancora possibile trovarne. Spesso cammino per le strade senza una mappa, e così trovo i posti dove vanno i fiorentini. Appena sono arrivata a Firenze, ho pensato che fosse una bella città; ed è anche vero, ma dopo una settimana ho capito che Firenze non è come nelle foto. Non è un posto dove c’è sempre il sole, e gli edifici non sono multicolori. Non è sempre facile abitare in un posto nuovo. Ho bisogno di imparare cose nuove, e un nuovo stile di vita. Anche le piccole cose, come trovare il mio nuovo dolce preferito, possono essere difficili. I cibi nel supermercato, e come gli italiani li mangiano, sono molto diversi da quelli a cui sono abituata. Di mattina in Italia molte persone prendono un cornetto, o altre cose simili, con una tazza di caffè. Invece del burro di arachidi qui molte persone mangiano la Nutella. Non mi aspettavo di notare una differenza così grande tra i cibi, ma c’è. Anche il modo in cui gli italiani comprano i cibi è diverso. Prima che 4

by Giulia Ensing arrivassi qui sapevo che gli italiani vanno al mercato per comprare verdura e frutta; questo è vero ed è molto evidente nello stile di vita degli italiani. Ogni giorno vado al mercato e provo parlare italiano, è molto divertente. Vorrei che il mercato fosse una cosa normale per tutti, perché è un posto dove le persone si incontrano e si parlano. La vita a Firenze è sicuramente bellissima ma non è una fiaba. Anche qui ho bisogno di fare i miei compiti, pulire il mio appartamento, ed è difficile incontrare nuovi amici. Ma tutte queste cose sono fanno parte dell’esperienza. Ricordo che all’inizio, quando sono arrivata, ho imparato presto che non è normale chiedere un cappuccino alle tre del pomeriggio. Il cameriere mi ha fatto uno sguardo strano. Ora ne rido, e non ho mai più preso un cappuccino dopo le undici della mattina. Tra le cose che preferisco fare c’è stare fuori con un cappuccino e un cornetto e vedere tutte le diverse persone che passano. L’Italia è davvero un bellissimo paese e quando viaggio e guardo fuori dalla finestra perdo tutte le mie preoccupazioni e mi godo l’esperienza.


MARCH 2018



by Shannon Healey, Taylor Hauser, and Holly Vonehwegen

Photos courtesy of FLY

This month’s “Look of the Month” offers a trip down memory lane. The vibe of these two looks are some bold colors, intense detailing, and spunk. The first look, modeled by Taylor Hauser, has a fashion-forward businesswoman approach. The look draws inspiration from 70’s fashion through the addition of ruffles from an Annie Fountaine undershirt, and from layering a Mongollian fur jacket on top. Hauser’s look is far-out, and brings sophistication with the pairing of Ralph Lauren booties below her Gisele cuffed cherry red bottoms. People will dig Shannon Healey’s nerdychic ensemble in the second look. This enticing yellow COS wool skirt brings a nice contrast to the Emillo Pucci tailored shirt and vintage leather jacket. The Chie Mihara lace-up heels aid in complementing this look, and add a unique detailed touch. With spring comes rain and dreary days. It is the season of rebirth to green grass, bright blue skies, and blossoming flowers. It is a time to say goodbye to bulky clothing and dark colors. By introducing 70’s fashion looks, vibrant colors, and uniqueness, this month’s wardrobe will make you want to get down and boogie. 5

STUDENT VOICE FUA students imagined a “disconnected” Florence, a city to be explored without devices and through senses other than sight. Our selected authors worked in pairs to offer a single perspective in a unique blend of real experiences and imagined fiction.


by Brianna Miller and Margaret Rabon

Photo by Margaret Rabon

It was Monday afternoon. I was walking past the Duomo, frustrated with the rain. I noticed a girl, about my age. Despite the crowds of people walking past her, she stood alone, eyes closed. She seemed unbothered by the tourists bumping into her as they fought for a better look at the Duomo. Even in the cold rain she carried no umbrella, and looked content.

PIAZZA SANTA CROCE Photo by Mackenzie Dineen

I was worried that someone would steal her stuff, so I walked over and asked if she wanted my extra umbrella. She said, “I like the rain when I travel.” I turned to walk away, but after a few steps, I turned and asked, “Why are you standing alone in the rain without an umbrella?” She said, “It’s the best way to know a city.” She invited me to stand with her. She told me to close my eyes, and asked, “Can you hear it?” I listened for a distinct noise that could be the subject of her question, but all I heard was sirens in the distance. Disappointed, I opened my eyes and said, “I don’t hear anything.” She said, “Tune out the noise of the modern machine and listen to the voices around you.” I closed my eyes again, and listened. I heard children to my left, laughing. I heard the splash of their boots in puddles. To my right, I heard someone say, “The Duomo looks magical in the rain.” I kept my eyes closed and listened to the sounds of Florence. by Mackenzie Dineen and Paige Schick

He nodded and stuck his hand out feeling the raindrops fall against his skin. “If you listen close enough, you can hear the raindrops forming puddles on the uneven cobblestone.” He was right, the pools that formed in the square mirrored the bleak expanse above. “The group of children behind us have been splashing in them.” I turned to peek at a swarm of girls and boys, all outfitted in bright jackets, hats, and boots. I realized how little attention I granted the small things. I found rain to be a nuisance of umbrellas and damp hair, but my new acquaintance understood only the beauty in it. “May I show you something?” The man extended his hand in my direction. I accepted the invitation, and we strolled down narrow streets. His footing was steady, and he navigated with only the chime of bicycle bells and the hum of Vespa’s. He stopped on a quiet side street, and told me to close my eyes. I reluctantly did so. “What do you see?” “Blackness,” I replied not understanding the point of his little exercise. “Try to see with your ears, hands, and nose,” the man replied patiently. “Can you feel the ridges of the uneven cobblestone I met a blind man today. I was sitting on a cold bench in the underneath your feet? The rough edges of the old walls that Santa Croce square when a man on the other side commented, line the street? The faint smell of cigarette smoke hovering in “Beautiful day, isn’t it?” the air? Or the echoes of the cars in the nearby streets?” I looked inquisitively in his direction and replied, “It’s cold I hadn’t noticed any of those things. And it was in that moand raining, sir.” ment, I realized that I was the one who was truly blind. 6


MARCH 2018



by Mackenzie Kane and Mackenzie Gobillot

Photo by Bailey Suroweic

Cultural stereotypes are something that everyone experiences. When visitors arrive in a new city, and when students come to Florence in particular, many bring with them their own preconceptions of the city and its culture.. After speaking to FUA faculty member Simona Cherubini who teaches marketing and communication courses, it became clear that these stereotypes are not always true. Cherubini discussed her experience with stereotypes after she visited California, and did not experience what she had originally expected. She left for California with an image of an entire population that cared about healthy living. But once she got there, she quickly realized that not everyone was eating healthy, and the fast food chains had been left out of her original vision. In a similar way, students come to Florence with preconceived perceptions of what the city is supposed to be and look like. They come to see the famous Duomo or Statue of David, but do not bother to experience the real, authentic Italian sights and museums that Florentines cherish. Some will not even cross the Arno.

According to Cherubini, the Arno is a great metaphor for what separates the Italian culture from the tourist culture. On one side of the river, there are the famous sites and a multitude of tourist shops– the Duomo, leather shops, cafes and pubs on every street corner. On the other side named the Oltrarno, though teeming with equally famous monuments such as Piazzale Michelangelo and Palazzo Pitti, one may experience the Italian culture in a new light. This is not to say the city centre is somehow less than for its strong tourist ties, and in fact manorial Italians have many favourite places there. Cherubini also offers up her favorite gelato right by the Duomo, Edoardo, which serves up homemade waffle cones that are definitely worth the splurge. Many are reluctant to cross the river citing distance as a reason, but this is no excuse to limit one’s experience of Italian, and especially Florentine, culture. Firstly, the city center includes both sides of the Arno so the Oltrarno is considered extremely central. Furthermore, it is teeming with small, hole-in-thewall stores, boutiques, and eateries that should be explored to the fullest.




by Bailey Surowiec

Photos by the author

Orienting myself with the city of Florence, and surrounding towns, was step one in making this new place feel like home, and for me there was no better way to do that than with my camera. The city in itself is like a museum; there is something beautiful and historic on almost every street. The architecture in Florence is stunning to say the least but, I found it to be even more magnificent when I got up close and personal with the structures. I couldn’t stop myself from taking pictures of all the intricate details in the arches and on the faces of these building. Even the details in window archways and the decorative trim at the top of the buildings bring the whole structure together. Any chance I get, I try to roam around town and take note of what makes each building unique, and I have learned that most times this is the details that you see when you look up. #1: The Basilica di Santa Croce #2: Cathedral of Prato #3: The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore



MARCH 2018


Photos by the author

Portraiture offers an evocative and intimate glimpse into the life of an individual. Although Florence is known for its beauty found in nearly every street corner and building, photographer AndrĂŠs Villeta chooses instead to shift focus to the everyday beauty and art found inside of the individual. This photo series looks at a few seldom-regarded faces of Florence, and shines a spotlight on what truly makes Florence so beautiful.

Photos by the author

Gli occhi che ci proteggono - Two municipal officers walking by the Basilica di San Lorenzo.

I baffi non dicono bugie - An Italian man working at his magazine shop on Via de' Martelli near the Duomo.

Lo stile che non svanisce mai - An Italian man playing his accordion on Via de' Martelli near the Duomo.

Il giardino dei guanti - An Italian glove seller at the Loggia del Mercato Nuovo.




by Mattia delle Piane Photos by B. Harrison

Ben Harrison graduated in the Culinary Arts Program at Apicius in 2013. Fast forward to January 2018 and he has returned to Florence for FUA’s first ever Alumni Week. Mattia delle Piane from the FUA Alumni Association caught up with him to learn about the catering business he founded. FUA: Hi Ben, it’s great to see you back in Florence. What do you do now? Ben: I have a catering company called Torricella Catering that involves pizza and grilled wood-fired cuisine. We cater for different locations without kitchens and also provide meal plans to university students from California Polytechnic State University. FUA: Do you have a favourite memory from FUA? Ben: I enjoyed being able to work with Chef Andrea Trapani, I really admired his culinary expertise, and he is definitely someone who has great confidence in his food. His palate was impeccable; I’ll never forget, I put a little an ounce too much wine in the risotto and it’s an 18-minute cooking process, so I thought “whatever, it’s just a little bit more wine,” but he knew I had added too much because he tasted the acid in the risotto. I thought, “how do you even pick that up?” It was so impressive to me, and just one of the things that I really tried to model after him in my career. FUA: In what way did studying abroad at FUA change your life, and do you have any advice for future FUA students? Ben: Studying in Florence gave me a completely different perspective on the culinary arts, and on Italian cuisine in particular. My suggestion is to break away from the traditional scene of what you get back home, wherever that may be. A lot of people stick to what they’re comfortable with because it’s easy. If you break away from that and try to really experience the culture here, you find something really beautiful. It’s not a given that you will live like a Florentine just because you’re in Florence. You have to make the effort to seek out the cultural aspects that make the city so fantastic.



MARCH 2018



A Night at the Ballet: Don Chisciotte by Jenna Berman

Friday A La Carte: Traditions of Italian Food

Taste Florence Food Festival

Festa Della Donna

On Mar. 2, 9, and 16 one of the “Friday a la carte” special menu events held at Ganzo, in Via dei Macci, will showcase the work of Apicius students featuring food focused on the evolution of Italian Traditions. As a part of Ganzo’s weekly special a la carte menu showcase, the event menu is curated by the students of Traditions of Italian Food III: The Evolution of Italian Tradition course at Florence University of the Arts. A surprise menu curated from the hard work of students will delight guests’ taste buds! Friday a la carte Menu

Foodies, get your taste buds ready for Mar. 10-12 because Pitti Immagine and Davide Paolini are teaming up to bring you a fair dedicated to excellence in taste and good eating. Taste Food Festival brings you 300 of Italy’s best companies, exhibitors, and restaurateurs under one roof as they showcase modern twists on Italian classicsnot to mention there will be many chances to taste wine. So if you love great food, come take this opportunity to experience new tastes, senses, and innovations.

During the second week of March, the city of Florence takes time to celebrate women by hosting Festa Della Donna. This event highlights the important role of women in society by granting them free entry to both city and state museums. The yellow mimosa flower is beautifully in bloom during this time of year, and has represented Festa Della Donna, and International Women’s Day for centuries. Do not be surprised to see women and couples giving and receiving bouquets of bright yellow flowers throughout the week. It is not uncommon to see women granting other women mimosa flowers as well, as an act of appreciation and respect. Although this festival can last up to a week, Mar. 8 is the most popular time to celebrate. This is your chance to show the women of Florence how much they mean to you and to society.

by Grayson Baird

by Levi De Jong

by Anderson Cheney

Join the National Ballet of Sofia Opera for the performance of Don Chisciotte, on Thursday, Mar. 1 at 20.45 located at Teatro Verdi- Florence. The ballet, based on the famous novel Don Quixote della Mancha, written by Miguel de Cervantes, includes musical acts by Ludwig Minkus, as well as the artistic direction of SaraNova Krysteva. The acclaimed ballet tells the love story of a wealthy man’s failed attempt to marry a beautiful woman who instead falls for a different man. Tickets, which are available to purchase online, range from 19.00 € to 31.00€. To buy tickets, or enquire more information visit http://

Ganzo Via dei Macci 85R

Location: Stazione Leopolda in Florence Italy W hen: Saturday/Sunday: 2.30- 7.30 pm / Monday: 9.30am- 4.30 pm




Supplemento di / Supplement to Blending Magazine

Direttore Responsabile / Editor in chief

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

Matteo Brogi

Anno 8 - Numero 1 - Marzo 2018 Year 8 - Issue 1 - March 2018

Caporedattore / Editorial Director Grace Joh

Editore / Publisher Florence Campus per INGORDA Editore

Coordinamento Editoriale /

Via Alfonso Lamarmora, 39

Managing Editor

50121 Firenze

Shauna Kavanagh

Sede editoriale /

Redazione testi / Copy Editors

Blending is a newsletter created

Editorial Headquarters

Gregg Casazza

with and for students of Florence

via dell'Oriuolo, 43

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member of Palazzi FAIE.

Tel. 055 2633 182/183

Faculty Advisors Margherita Picchi

The newsletter collaborates with the Student Life Department and

Stampato in proprio /

Nicoletta Salomon

Development Office.

Printed in house

Livia Sturlese Tosi

For information contact:

Impaginazione / Page Layout Cheng Yu Chuan Maggie Kovach Redazione fotografica / Photo Editor Bailey Surowiec AndrĂŠs Villeta

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

BLENDING Newsletter MARCH 2018  
BLENDING Newsletter MARCH 2018