FIT in Florence

FIT in Florence

May 17, 2017
by Alexandra

It’s Not Goodbye, Part 2…

Nearly 272 days ago I embarked on the journey of a lifetime, one that has undoubtedly changed my life for the better and has opened my eyes to see the world and all that it has to offer. And nearly four months ago, I wrote you a post titled, “It’s Not Goodbye.” As I sit here once again at the end of a semester here in Florence, I cannot put into words how grateful I am for having this experience and being able to share it with all of you reading. If I have reached out to just one person who is thinking about studying abroad, will be studying abroad, or is planning to in the future, then my job is complete.

Although my days in my beloved Firenze are numbered, I am certain that once again, this is not goodbye and just a mere “a dopo”, or “see you later!” My second semester seemed to fly by even quicker (if that’s possible) and once again, brought me more memories and experiences that I will surely cherish forever!

So, here’s to all of the memories that made me laugh, cry, a better person, and allowed me to appreciate this beautiful world some of us are lucky enough to explore.

For one last time, here are my Five Firenze memories…

Five Firenze Memories
Venice Carnevale

As part of a Florence Abroad Student Activities Club (FASA) event, we went to Venice Carnevale at the beginning of the semester and it certainly set the scene for the semester ahead. Even though that was my third time going to Venice at that point, I still think of it as a point where all the year and spring students could merge together. Also, there was something truly spectacular about being able to attend Carnevale (and wear our handmade masks we created back in November!)

Milan and Como

Our semester 5-day long academic trip to Milan and Lake Como was eventful. Once again, it was one of the first times all the year and spring students could merge together, since having different class schedules could prevent us all from seeing each other. We had some great visits including a trip to see the Manolo Blahnik exhibit, Armani Silos exhibit, and the White Trade Show. We also had an exciting visit to Lake Como, where we tried our best to have a George Clooney sighting, but also got to visit a silk factory.

Fiorentina Soccer Game

This semester we were able to attend yet another event right here in Florence. For another FASA event, in mid-March we went to the Fiorentina v. Cagliari game. It was a fun match to watch, especially since this time Fiorentina scored in the last minute of the game! So by a margin of 1-0, the home team won and the crowd went crazy.

FD Final Exhibition

The Fashion Design Year 2 students have worked so hard all year to prepare for their final exhibition, which is located at the Stibbert Museum here in Florence. Their final garments and portfolios are displayed, with the addition of Fashion Design 1 and History of Western Costume. This year’s theme was Imaginific, which was based on a inspiration between dreams and reality. Special guest Mr. James Ferragamo attended the ceremony and all the students work was amazing! It is a true honor to be amongst such talent and creativity.

End of Year Dinner

The End of Year Dinner was held at Obicà Mozarella and it was so surreal to say our goodbyes to those friends and professors we have made over the past semester or year. We also received our amazing Yearbook created by our co-editors Aria and Nyna. It was a great night to end what has been an incredible year abroad!

There is so much to be said how this experience has changed my life and it seems surreal that is has come and gone so quickly. A huge thank you to my family and friends who have always supported my dreams 100%. I so look forward to my next adventure. And to everyone at FIT in Florence…Grazie mille for making my abroad experience what it was. I look forward to making more memories with you all in New York! And lastly, to you all for reading. It has been a pleasure blogging for you and capturing all these experiences. I will say Ciao for now, but I have confidence that we will all see each other again one day.

Con tanto amore,


May 3, 2017
by Ashi

The Perfect Day in Florence!

Studying abroad in Florence has made me realize that I don’t need to travel anywhere else to have an incredible experience and to see something new. All I have to do is walk right outside my door and get lost in one of the most beautiful cities in Italy!

This past weekend was a long one for “liberation Day” which is basically the Italian 4th of July, so we had a whole 5 days off from class! Many students visited new countries but I decided to stay “home” in Florence and try to explore the city. My friends and I took this weekend as an opportunity to check out the “touristy” spots as well as little areas around the city where we can feel like locals.

Here are the best touristy places to visit:

  1. Duomo- The famous Duomo is hard to miss when living in Florence! You pass by it almost everyday and the building is breathtaking! As the weather gets warmer, the more tourists come to visit and the area is packed with selfie sticks and group tours. I highly recommend buying the ticket, which costs 15 euro and includes going to the top of the Duomo, Bell tower and a museum in the area. Both the bell tower and the Duomo have an amazing view of the Florence but be prepared to walk up a whole lot of stairs! Don’t worry the view is worth the climb! Also check out the Cathedral, it’s free!
  2. Boboli Gardens- The Boboli gardens are so beautiful and are a must see in Florence. There is also a combo ticket, which includes entry to the gardens and a few museums within the garden. This area is so relaxing and you can spend an entire day taking in the fresh air and greenery all around! You can catch amazing views of the city while walking through the gardens. The springtime is definitely the best time to visit!
  3. Ponte Vecchio- The Ponte Vecchio is so stunning and is a staple in Florence. You can enjoy the dazzling jewelry shops and if you are lucky you will catch the live music at sunset. One of my favorite things to do is eat gelato and sit on the Ponte Santa Trinita (bridge right next to the Ponte Vecchio) and watch the sunset!
  4. Museums- Florence is known for the historical museums and the Uffizi is one of the most famous ones. The Accademia Gallery is also famous as it is home to the David by Michelangelo! It was so exciting to finally see these famous art pieces in person because I’ve learned about it in my art history classes.  There is also a Gucci Museum and Ferragamo museum, which are really exciting!
  5. Piazzale Michelangelo – By far my favorite spot in the entire world! The Piazzale Michelangelo is viewpoint that shows a panoramic view of Florence and is out of this world. There are usually a lot of tourists but enough room for everyone to enjoy. I highly recommend going at sunset and doing a picnic with your friends! It is a place where everyone is happy and it is a perfect end to the perfect day! Every time I go up here I feel blessed and grateful for this opportunity to study in such an incredible city. It is a place where I want to visit everyday before heading home because I can now and soon enough I won’t be able to.

Don’t forget to eat while roaming around town!

Here are the must eats:

  1. Gusta Pizza- you’ve probably already heard that this place is the! Get there before the lunch/dinner rush so you aren’t stuck in line! My favorite is Margherita pizza with pesto! Tip: Take it to go and eat it on the Ponte Santa Trinita!
  2. Gelateria Santa Trinita- DO IT!! This is by far the best gelato in town! Every time I bring any of my friends here, they fall in love with the gelato. Get the cheesecake and cookie flavor in a cone, of course!
  3. All’antico Vinaio- best panini ever.. enough said!


I have realized that I will never be able to say that I am a tourist in Florence and will never experience any other city that I have traveled to as a “home.” Florence has become my home these past couple months and I think it is a perfect place to explore and to grow as a person. I encourage every student that studies abroad to spend a couple weekends in Florence instead of traveling every single weekend. Don’t get me wrong, traveling around Europe is definitely a must do but it is ok to hang back and dive into Florence’s rich culture!


Thanks so much for tuning in and I hope you visit all these spots and MORE while in Florence


April 26, 2017
by Alexandra

Let me tell you ’bout FASA…

Florence Abroad Student Activities Club (FASA) is a popular topic here on the blog, but for those who wish to know about who or what FASA is or does, this one is for you!

For those who are familiar with the FIT Student Government Association in New York, FASA works side by side with them. We are essentially the liaison between New York activities and those studying abroad in Florence.

We co-fund fun events (that take place outside of the classroom!) such as movie nights, day trips to Venice Carnival, pizza and gelato cooking classes, and Fiorentina soccer games, just to name a few. It’s a great way to meet new people, have some fun, and not break the bank!

We are made up of a board with our advisor and FIT in Florence Resident Director Professor Madeleine Kaplan, a President, Vice President, two treasurers, co-secretaries, communications and marketing manager, and two student representatives for Fashion Design Year One and Spring Semester FBM.

I wanted to give the chance for the current FASA board to be able to give you some information about the program. The current board is made up of…

Advisor – Professor Kaplan

President – Rawlins Bray (IFBM)

Vice President – Leah Becker (IFBM)

Treasurer’s – Emily Nieland (FD2) and Emily Underhill (IFBM)

Secretaries – Allie Carter (IFBM) and Haley Miller (IFBM)

Communications and Marketing Manager – Ntombi Khambule (IFBM)

Student Reps – Kirsten DiStasio (FBM Spring Sem) and Giulia Rao (FD1)

Here’s what our FASA reps saying about serving the students (YOU!)

What has been your favorite FASA event this year? My favorite FASA event this year was Thanksgiving because it made me feel at home. I loved being surrounded by so many friends and professors eating traditional American Thanksgiving food. This event satisfied the part of me that was missing out on the celebration in the States.

Haley Miller, Co-Secretary

Why should I run for FASA board? I believe running for the  FASA board will be rewarding because it allows you to have a say in the events that you and other students could participate in. For example, during the Fall, I was able to organize an event to take an olive tour through Tuscany, something that wouldn’t have been offered without my influence on the board.

Leah Becker, Vice President






And to answer some more of your questions…

What is the best part of being on the FASA board? The best part about being a member of the FASA board is being able to plan and organize events for the students that enhance their study abroad experience and allow them to hang out with students they might not see on a day-to-day basis! It’s also a great way to be involved while studying abroad.

Best piece of advice for someone interested in running. The positions are voted on at the first FASA meeting of the year (usually sometime during the first couple weeks of classes in the Fall Semester), so make sure you branch out and talk to people that may not necessarily be in your friend group to let them know you’re interested in running and what ideas you have!

Favorite memory from being apart of the FASA board. My favorite memory of being apart of the FASA board is the camaraderie of us all working hard to meet every week to make sure the events are what the students love and want to participate in. Also, dinner meetings at Professor Kaplan’s house are always memorable (and delicious!) 

I hope these questions and answers inspired you in the future to learn more about FASA and hopefully get involved in the upcoming years!

Con amore,