BLENDING Newsletter OCT/NOV 2019

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At the Ganzo Restaurant, the Apicius’s Experiential Learning Creative Lab is running the art exhibition Vision Beyond Form by the Italian artist Claudio Cionini. At the Ganzo Restaurant, the Apicius’s Experiential

works will undoubtedly impress residents of big cities, in

Learning Creative Lab is running the art exhibition Vision

them they recognize their native and favorite streets, and

Beyond Form by the Italian artist Claudio Cionini.

are reminded by the pleasant memories associated with

The opening was October 2nd during the first AperiArt of

cities. You will not find any figures in his paintings, but a

the semester and several art connoisseurs, residents of the

special impression of their presence is created. With this

city, as well as tourists, could enjoy the wonderful art. This

he tries to convey that the city has its own soul.

contemporary-impressionist artist, with his photographic

The main city of his life is Paris and it was this city that

style of painting that includes a unique style of brushwork

formed the direction in art and inspired Cionini to depict

is influenced by the elements of chiaroscuro.

urban landscapes through a free realistic vision of the

Urban landscapes are the basis of his work, and through

different state of cities. The contrast of morning and rainy

them, you will feel the beauty of the industrial cities just

evenings, sights and industrial places of the city, shows

as the art ones. You will see a living city into resplendent

how the energy of the metropolis charges its residents

tableaux of urban geometry and motion, light, and shadow

with kindness and love, and even moves them to new

that uniquely compress the spirit of a place. Cionini's

achievements. Urban painting is able to inspire the viewer,

draw their attention to the beauty of the world and inspire creative achievements. Claudio Cionini, native of Piombino, Tuscany, where his love of industrialized landscapes was nurtured, became attracted to the concept of art in his middle school years. Enrolled at the Florence Academy of Fine Arts, he received the first fundamental teachings in drawing and painting, he learned to feel the materials and slowly go to his own style. Professor Adriano Bimbi, a famous artist in Florence, helped him to represent imagery detached from their own emotions. Cionini depicts the beauty of industrial landscapes in masterful combinations of impressionistic atmosphere, color, and light. However, throughout his career, Claudio has been trying to get ideas from all directions in art. The works of Antonio Garcia and Gustave Courbet influenced the formation of Cionini’s own style. Throughout his

career, things like impressionism and realism, influenced some of his work. If you look at his paintings you can feel these topics through rough textures, expressive strokes, all while a smooth transition between colors is visible, which is very mesmerizing. The artist uses the technique of smoothing, known as sfumato, to blur color transitions and the contour creates the illusion of airiness which creates mysteriousness. In the group of paintings that comprises London, Cionini conveys the atmosphere of the city so well that you can feel the rainy weather through the canvas. The artist’s works are soulful, shocking with scale and depth. The secondary goal of the artist was to display the unique heritage of the cities. The city consists not only of the physical buildings of streets or squares but also conveys its own history in the form of memories, moments from the life of the city, and the history of the people who live there.To draw a conclusion, one can say that Claudio Cionini seeks to capture the emotions, feelings, and behavior that arise when interacting with urban space. The artist’s work is able to inspire the audience to pay attention to the beauty of the world. 2





When you think of Italy, you think of the Vespa. For more than 70 years, this scooter has grown within Italian style and culture through post-war spirit, women empowerment, and Hollywood endorsement as one of the world’s most famous two-wheelers. The history of the Vespa begins when World War II ends during the spring of 1946. Piaggio, the aeronautical engineering company at the time, was a target during the war for its aircraft production and most of its factories were destroyed. After rebuilding, industrialist Enrico Piaggo decided to switch gears into the motorcycle business. Piaggio hired engineer Corradino D’Ascanio to design a prototype for a new mode of transportation with specific qualities - easy to drive, mountable, affordable, practical, and lightweight. D’Ascanio didn’t like the bulkiness of motorcycles, so he aimed to build something that wasn’t one at all. “He moved the gears to the handlebars for convenience, and put the engine under the seat, to keep the riders and their clothes protected from oil and grease,” an article from the Italy’s The Local writes. “The Vespa was born.” When Piaggio first saw the scooter, he said it looked and sounded like a wasp, so Vespa, or “wasp” in Italian, was the perfect name for the creation. From then on, business boomed. Piaggio and his company used the Vespa’s aesthetic to market toward women. Its first publicity campaign featured a woman ready to ride her Vespa to work, striking chords with Italian women who just earned the right to vote the following year. In Omar Calabrese’s Italian Style: Forms of Creativity, Italian sociologist Marino Livolsi said the Vespa’s popularity grew immediately, selling out of the first 2,000 scooters in the first year and more than 10,000 in the following year. Livolsi said the Vespa changed the face of

“The glamorous Hollywood couple spun carefree around

the transportation in Italy.

Rome on one of the scooters, aimlessly and stylishly,” an

“It was a new-found freedom the potential of which was

article from the BBC writes. “Audiences wanted to do the

of course explored as much for work as it was for leisure


time,” Livolsi wrote. “In towns and cities, people were

Over the years, the Vespa has evolved with many different

now avoiding public transport and in the country saving

models of the same classic style, spreading all over the

huge amounts of time to get to work and back. And when

world by the mid-1960s. As of 2016, Piaggio produced

weekends came round, the roads beckoned them for

more than 150 models of the original Vespa, the Vespa

trips and holidays farther afield, to the coast, country-

98cc, and sold more than 18 million scooters of other

side or mountains. In a sentence, for people at the time,

models worldwide.

it opened a door to discovering the world.”

In Florence, some Vespas can be seen on passing streets,

Eventually, Hollywood brought it to the big screen. One

but true Vespa enthusiasts can visit the Museo Piaggio in

of the Vespa’s most famous cameos comes from the

Pontedera - for free - to witness one of the largest Vespa

1953 romantic comedy “Roman Holiday” starring Audrey

collections in the world to learn more about the scooter’s

Hepburn and Gregory Peck.

journey through Italian culture and Italian hearts. 3


BY ELIZABETH AVIÑA | PAINTING BY ANTONIA CORNI Antonia Comi is a Florentine artist, and


instructor at Florence University of

motivated by the works of Pietro

the Arts; most known for her oil-based

Annigoni, a well known Italian painter.

portraiture works. Comi is from a small

He too utilized oil paints in portraiture.

town northeast of Venice and pursued

Even more, he is known for his portrait

her art studies at the Angel Academy

of Queen Elizabeth II. Various artists,

of Art in Florence, Italy. At the Angel

especially in Florence, Italy, are

Academy, Antonia honed into her

attracted to Pietro’s story and style

technical skills of portraiture. Since

of work. His work rebelled against the

last year, she has been expanding

modernist style that was prevalent at


the time and emphasized Renaissance








compositions, mostly consisting of

tradition instead.

landscapes devoid of human figures.

For Antonia, she intends to replicate

In regards to portraiture, Antonia

this model of work - to capture what

finds it more intriguing in the sense

the eye doesn’t see consciously. She

that it tends to be more challenging

utilizes muted tones in her color

rendering various physical attributes.

palette mostly cool, specifically in

As far as for her compositions, Antonia

regards to skin tones. Notably, Antonia

aims to be recognized by her style in

Comi declares simply, art speaks

the works. Additionally, Antonia is

for itself. It is unlike words that are

inspired by the Italian impressionist

“empty” or insipid.

group, Macchiaioli. The Macchiaioli

Antonia states that “art is not always

lived in Tuscany and were greatly

conscious, there is not always a

motivated to capture light, shadow, and

meaning.” Art may solely rely on looking

sense of space while simultaneously,

and observing without the necessity to

incorporating balance in-between.

possess profound significance.

OUR FLORENCE AND LA FIRENZE DI GIOVANNI E TELEMACO SIGNORINI BY SONNY HELMS AND ELISA PALUMBO | PHOTOS BY AUTHOR Inside the walls of Palazzo Antinori, this quintessential Italian Renaissance palace, visitors can find a lovely collection of works by father and son, Giovanni and Telemaco Signorini. These two are considered among the most talented landscape artists of the 19th century. Although their styles vary greatly, one can see the influence of the elder on the younger. Giovanni’s landscapes fit perfectly into the genre of romanticism, popular during that part of the 1800s. He beautifully captures the growing and lively Florence streets as well as the peaceful Tuscan landscapes of the surrounding areas. 4


Giovanni Signorini’s ability to capture urban scenes is

brings a beautiful relief from the crowd. It sort of feels

reminiscent of the great Claude Lorrain. Telemaco, on

like being thrown into a time capsule of the 1800s. The

the other hand, was a revolutionary. Along with other

representation of the urban soul during their lifetime

members of the Macchialoli group, Signorini broke away

mirrors that of today.

from what was taught in academia. The ideas spoken of by

You can clearly pick out some of the more famous spots

these artists in the Caffé Michelangelo would influence the

and compare them to how they look today. The essence

impressionists in the decades to come. Telemaco Signori

of the city is pure and beautifully depicted in every image.

beautifully captures what is referred to as the Jewel City

Walking through this exhibit you could feel the nostalgia

in a totally different way than his father, focusing more

and see the framed beauty of Florence.

on light and color with looser brushstrokes.

Civilians and locals believe this is a beautiful exhibition in

This exhibition was curated by Elisabetta Matteucci and

the perfect location, and we agree.

Silvio Balloni, in the halls of Palazzo Antinori. It is divided

As a student studying in Florence, for most of us, our first

into eight sections and a selection of over sixty of the most

time being here, the ability to discover this beautiful city’s

famous paintings of the father and son Signorini. Though

history through art is a wonderful experience. This is not a

you can clearly see differences of perspective between

museum, it is not a guided tour, it is an individual experi-

the duo, the images explored bring a truthful sense of

ence. We are able to connect our visions and perceptions

Florence and that "ideal image" of a European city. For

of the city to the ones of Telemaco and Giovanni Signorini

somewhere that is now so busy and crowded, viewing

which is pretty remarkable.

Florence through the eyes of Giovanni and Telemaco, 5



those willing to explore the cuisine of Venezuela will

fame as Tuscan cuisine. The deeply-rooted food traditions

be rewarded at L’ Areperia. Located on Via Della Mosca, a

of this central-Italian region have created a food landscape

miniscule side street off Via de Neri, this humble little spot

that is admired by countless visitors each year. Feasting

serves up traditional Venezuelan arepas, a type of corn-based

on the specialties of the Tuscan region is a key component

bread that is grilled, split open and stuffed with a variety of

of immersing oneself in Italian culture, but experiencing

fillings. The Sifrina arepa comes filled with shredded chicken,

cravings that venture outside of ribollita, bistecca alla

avocado, cheddar cheese, and jalapeno sauce. Additional

Fiorentina, and cacio e pepe is entirely understandable. The

offerings include fried plantains, empanadas, and fruit

spread of global cuisines and food cultures to major cities is a


nearly worldwide trend that shows no signs of slowing down.

Asian restaurants are relatively easy to find throughout

Although the cuisine of Tuscany may be Florence’s specialty,

Florence, but a few stand out as unique. Firenzen Noodle

there is no shortage of international restaurants providing a

Bar, a stylish Pan-Asian restaurant located near the Museo

wide assortment of unique dishes.

de San Marco on Via Guelfa, is one of the exceptions. The

Finding authentic Mexican eats in Florence is difficult, but

menu draws influence from across the Asian continent, with




options including hand-made noodles, rice dishes, Thai

dishes, such as the Polpo di Patrasso, octopus served with

curries, and even Hawaiian poke bowls. The dessert menu,

beet puree, caramelized onions, and red wine sauce. They’re

which features many matcha-themed creations, should not

also known for their flaky filo pies, the most famous being

be ignored. The cuisine of Greece, Italy’s Mediterranean

Spanakopita, which contains a spinach and herb filling.

neighbor, can be sampled at multiple discrete eateries

As amazing as Italian food is, there is no need to limit oneself

across town. Among the most highly-acclaimed is Alas le

to the local specialties. Florence is home to a plethora of

Delizie Greche, a charming, low-key spot located on via

unique restaurants offering a refreshing deviation from the

Camillo Cavour. Their menu of authentic Greek eats ranges

status quo, many of which are hidden in plain sight, waiting

from souvlaki pita stuffed with grilled meats to more exotic

to be discovered. 7



On May 14, 1946, when the Ferrero Company was officially founded, small town pastry maker Pietro Ferrero had no idea the impact he would have on the world 73 years later. Ferrero is not only known for creating the world’s second largest chocolate producer and confectionery company in the world, but more exclusively the innovative idea to mix cocoa with hazelnut to give us today’s Nutella. The Piedmont region of Italy is known for its production of hazelnuts, which is a big part of its economy. Gianduja, a chocolate spread containing hazelnut paste, was invented in Turin during the late 1700s. In 1852, another manufacturer created gianduiotto, chocolates that became a specialty of Turin. The name comes from Gianduja, a carnival character who represented a peasant of the Piedmont countryland. Ferrero had the brilliant idea to continue utilizing hazelnut in place of expensive chocolate and mixing it with cocoa to then create a paste that was originally solid, unlike today's Nutella. In 1946, he named the solid, loaf shaped paste“pasta gianduja,” which could be sliced and served on bread. Ferrero had the brilliant idea to continue utilizing hazelnut in place of expensive chocolate and mixing it with cocoa to then create a paste that was


originally solid, unlike today's Nutella. In 1946, he named the solid, loaf shaped paste “pasta gianduja,” which could be sliced and served on bread. In 1951, the gianduja paste was transformed into the creamy spread, “SuperCrema.” In 1964, Ferrero’s son Michele Ferrero used a sweeter hazelnut and cocoa spread recipe and gave it the name we all know and love: Nutella. A year later, the delicacy spread to Germany, where the iconic jar was created. Who would have known that a simple money saving yet innovative alternative would become one of the most famous treats that is currently sold in more than 160 countries? Before studying in Florence and seeing the brand in every shop, I had never truly appreciated Nutella. But like most people, the delicious treat now holds a special place in my heart. The story of the Ferrero Group and Pietro Ferrero in particular reminds me of how many traditions are spread all over the world without consumers truly knowing the beginning story. It also reminds me that pushing boundaries and innovation will get you further than playing it safe.




The Galileo Classical Lyceum began its construction in the sixteenth century and is currently under renovations today. It takes a team of skilled architects to maintain the building where brilliant writers have studied for the past few hundred years.

It is sometimes easy for tourists to forget that locals

in 1579. Much later, in 1878 a newer area of the building

grow up, study, learn, and live here in Florence.

was designated to be the seat of the Royal Gymnasium,

The schools in the area blend in with the beautiful

called the Galileo.

historical monuments on every block. The Galileo

This historic masterpiece now houses a very strong

Classical Lyceum, in the city’s historic center, began

literary program. In the last few years the “Tre Parole”

being built in the middle of the sixteenth centur y.

national fiction contest awarded thirty finalists, eight of



these were Galileo Classical Lyceum students who were

magnificent building, including Giovanni Battista





later awarded for their hard work by getting published

Foggini and Bartolomeo Ammannati, until it became

in the competition anthology. Other students, from the

the institute it is today. The famous Cosimo I de' Medici

same high school, recently won the Guilio Salvadori

granted permission for the lyceum to be built many

poetry prize.

centuries ago.

The building does not allow entrance to the public

Its original building was made up of just two classrooms

during hours of operation but can be admired from the

and a courtyard in between, this part was completed

street by pedestrians. 9



BY ERICKA FERNANDEZ | PHOTOS BY RICCARDO SPEZIARI FROM WIKIPEDIA Camminare per Firenze significa innamorarsi delle

Marzocco, per rappresentare la libera repubblica di

sue stradine piene di storia. Vari nomi delle strade di

Firenze in grado di fare a pezzi l'aquila, che era un

Firenze contengono molte curiosità e storia. Ci sono

simbolo del potere imperiale.

diverse strade dedicate a figure come Dante Alighieri,

Il Marzocco è un simbolo che comprende gli ideali dello

Gugliemo Marconi e Giuseppe Verdi, ad esempio.

stato. Nel 15 ° secolo i leoni tenuti in gabbie in Via dei

Mentre alcune strade prendono il nome da date

Leoni furono 24. Oggi i leoni veri non sono compatibili

importanti, Via dei Leoni è una strada dietro Palazzo

con le migliaia di turisti che inondano la città di Firenze

Vecchio (il municipio di Firenze) e prende il nome in

ogni giorno.

onore di una nobile bestia: il leone. Firenze ha sempre

Il leone più famoso di Firenze, il Marzocco, si trova ora

avuto una passione con gli animali esotici. Nel Medioevo

nel museo del Bargello, scolpito da Donatello nel 1418-

e nel Rinascimento non era insolito che nobili e sovrani

1420, ma una copia fedele si trova oggi a piazza della

delle città presentassero animali esotici come regalo.

Signoria, ad un tiro di schioppo da Via dei Leoni. Oggi

Ma per i fiorentini il leone era un animale speciale. Il

Via dei Leoni è una strada vivace del centro storico

leone è un simbolo diverso ma i suoi tratti comuni sono

vicino vari ristoranti, bar e negozi.

maestosità, ricchezza e coraggio. Secondo la leggenda,

Ci sono molte altre statue del Marzocco ovunque per la

i fiorentini scelsero il leone, noto anche come il leone

città, vedi se riesci a trovarne anche tu!





What did you do at FUA that helped you in your career and/or in your personal growth? I took an events management course and was able to get involved in a hospitality project "TuttoToscana" which was very interesting and sparked my interest in event planning In which way did studying abroad (at FUA) change your life/ professional path/career? I just published a travel guide about Florence! I met Steve Soloski, owner of The Traveling Professor tour company, who had already written a couple of travel guides, and when he saw that I had studied in Florence and written for Blending Magazine for class and kept a personal blog, he asked me to co-author "The Traveling Professor's Guide to Florence." Have you traveled with FUA? How was it? I traveled to Sicily with FUA - it was a great place to visit. What are your favorite FUA memories? Living in apartments within the city and walking to classes Introduce yourself

in such an inspiring place was an amazing experience. I

Melanie Wilson, New York, USA - Sociology and Women's &

really loved the independence but also the student

Gender Studies, Stony Brook University.

community and opportunities.

When did you study at FUA?

Are you still friends/in contact with someone you have

I studied Apparel Design, Events Management, and Culinary

met at FUA?

Arts for a semester in 2013.

I am still close with one of my roommates and still keep in contact with my Apparel Design teacher.

Tell us about your profession and/or what you have been up to since you left Florence

What would you say to any future students looking into

I am an Educational Travel Leader, I lead trips abroad for

FUA? If you had 60 seconds to convince a friend that they

high school students with educational and creative themes.

should study abroad at FUA, what would you say? FUA has attentive staff and I always felt that if there was

Why did you choose to study at FUA?

a problem or concern I could go to the school for help. In

The course offerings were diverse and were different from

general, I highly recommend studying abroad, but teachers

what I was able to take back at Stony Brook.

at FUA were great and cared about us, even if we were only at the school for a semester. I learned a lot from my classes

Why Florence? Why Italy?

as well as from my time outside of the classroom. Florence

I lived in Europe during my childhood and had an interest

is a safe city and is approachable as a city-wide campus.

in exploring the continent again. I chose Florence because the program offered through Stony Brook was affordable

Describe your FUA experience with a word.

and offered a well-rounded study abroad experience.


Did you do any internship or SPEL placements with FUA?

What are your plans for the future?

I collaborated with the FUA library.

Continue to inspire others to travel through my work. 11



Copacetic /kəʊpə'sɛtɪk,ˌkəʊpəˈ siːtɪk/ variants: or less commonly copasetic or copesetic Definition of copacetic: When things were better than "okay" and more genuine than "fine," you'd aptly describe them as copacetic, a cordial affirmative that indicates everything is just as it should be, perfectly satisfactory. For a word whose meaning has such a positively simple vibe, its origin is nothing short of baffling. Many purport that it derives from the African-American community in the early 1900s (made famous by tap-dancer and performer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson), while others claim it has roots in Hebrew, Native American Chinook, or French. Whatever its pedigree, the term still makes the rounds in pop culture. The fireplace is roaring as fall approaches with a modern and quirky twist. Candice and Mercedes relax in their warm living room, captivating you with their clean lines




Everything is copacetic in their tasteful



Pinafore Dress breathes autumn with fun geometric glitter, and Candice’s collard blouse and loose trousers radiates her confidence. Designed by the beautiful hands of Nivule + Pesci Rossi, the girls are ready to conquer this fun and unusual world. 12





How I managed to get lost in Piazza Argentina for over

The main issue arose when I was standing in the piazza.

two hours is truly a mystery. Circling the same streets,

Why were the street names carved in marble on the side of

asking several people for directions to the same place,

the buildings? A person with my eyesight had no choice but

and still I overlooked the same road that was my key to

to walk up right in front of it to see the inscription. It only


took about five minutes and asking three different people to understand that I was lost.

My journey began hopeful; it was my first day roaming alone in Rome. My mission was to find the agency office I

Eventually, I did what any desperate, lost, atheist would do

bought tickets for the Catacombs of San Callisto. I pulled up

and walked into the nearest church. Figuring, if I can’t find

Google maps and figured since it was a straight 20 minute

my way I might as well find Jesus. I was about an hour and

walk, I did not need a taxi.

a half past the time I was supposed to meet up with the agency and I wanted to do more than just self-loathe.

Wrong. Marveling at the gold and black marble that lined columns I had no international phone service yet. Google could not

and arches that stretched towards the sky, supporting

be my dependency. Every five minutes, I stopped on the

the dome and complementing glorious paintings of angels

sidewalk with a gigantic map my hostel gave me trying to

that watched over God’s followers, I was exhilarated with

pinpoint my location. If my bright fashion and fanny pack

inspiration. Michelangelo spent several years painting the

did not give me away as a tourist, the map surely did.

impossible Sistine Chapel, despite the overwhelming risk



that it would not come out as he envisioned. He placed his faith in the universe, as many Florentines had, and believed that everything would fall into place if he just kept going. I had to keep going. Whether God showed me the light or not is questionable, but leaving that church led me directly to the street I was looking for. It was right where I had begun. My frenzy and uncertainty made me overlook the street sign. Upon entering the agency, the woman made me aware that my journey was not over yet. There was no direct stop to the Catacombs. Not only did I have to find the sightseeing, but I also had to find bus 118 and then the Catacombs. Despite the looming challenge, I felt myself invigorated by the ambience of the city- a product of artists’ ambition and determination. Even while getting lost on my way to the bus stop again, I was more than content with the beauty of the present moment; the beauty of Rome. 15


Coordinamento Editoriale | Managing Editor

Supplemento di |

Tommaso Monaci

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

Redattore Associato | Contributing Editor

Anno 9 - Numero 7 - Ottobre 2019

Livia Sturlese Tosi

Year 9 - Issue 7 – October 2019

Redazione testi | Copy Editors Editore | Publisher

Chelbie Smith

Florence Campus per INGORDA Editore

Emma Vallelunga

Via Alfonso Lamarmora, 39 50121 Firenze

Consulenti Accademici | Faculty Advisors A ndrea M ancini

Sede editoriale |

Dario D’A mbrosia

Blending is a newsletter created

Editorial Headquarters

Gaia Poli

with and for students of Florence

Corso Tintori 21

Nora Ferrucci

University of the Arts, the

50122 Firenze

Rosaria Parretti

academic member of Palazzi FAIE.

Tel. 055 2469016

The newsletter collaborates with the Student Life Department and

Stampato in proprio |

Impaginazione | Page Layout

Development Office.

Printed in house

A lexia Noble Christina Hanson

For information contact:


Mónica Bulnes Victoria Capone

Direttore Responsabile | Editor in chief M atteo Brogi Caporedattore | Editorial Director Grace Joh

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

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