FIT in Florence

FIT in Florence

April 13, 2018
by Isabella
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Alpine Spring Break: P a s s o d e l T o n a l e

Buongiorno a tutti!

Here in Florence we are starting to get the first tastes of spring with warmer temperatures and sunny days peeking through the spring rain.  April showers bring May flowers let’s hope right?

A few weeks ago though, I went the opposite direction for spring break, away from the warmer climate of the south and north to the Italian Alps. When one usually thinks of spring break, warm beaches and fruity cocktails come to mind. This year though, I was dreaming of ski slopes and the warm apple strudel of Alto Adige!

I spent the week in Passo del Tonale, near the border with Austria, and am pleaded to say I ate enough speck, strudel and drank enough apres ski hot chocolate for two people, but justified it by skiing it off every day!  I highly recommend this beautiful little mountain town with the most kind people I have ever met and definitely some of the best skiing in the world. I used to come here with my family during the winter when I was younger, so I wanted to take advantage of being in Florence to visit again the place where I first learned to ski!  I have been skiing since I was 3 years old and alpine ski raced for about 7 years, so for me skiing is the best forms of meditation! Trust me when I say being on these mountains is more like flying on top of the world.

Passo del Tonale has a glacier which takes two gondolas to get to the top, reaching over 3,000 meters in altitude, where there are two restaurants as well.  On the other side of the valley, easily crossed when you want to leave the glacier, there are the main ski slopes of Passo del Tonale. Here is where you can find the main restaurants, bars and hotels as well.  My recommendations are definitely going to La Torretta for the scamorza pizza (with speck) and the Magic Pub for apres ski aperitivo (most importantly where you can find the best french fries in the world).

I would absolutely recommend visiting to get a taste of the Italian Alps!  There are plenty of winter activities besides from skiing, for people at all levels, and amazing food worth the trip!

A presto!

Isabella

 

April 4, 2018
by Alexandra
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Thoughts on studying abroad

If given a chance, I learned to always take it and do my best. As I’m sure you’ve heard, I was taught to never take anything for granted. And although the idea seems great in theory, in practice, it can be slightly more difficult than just “take the chance!” I’ve taken many a chance that hasn’t panned out for me or worked in my favor but, if I let that stop me, I would never go anywhere, never be anybody. It’s the chances that I’m willing to take that make me who I am. That’s why I’m here to encourage anyone interested in studying abroad in Italy, or anywhere else, to take a chance.

I am an FIT freshman in my second semester of study abroad. I have lived in Miami for most of my life. Here in Florence I’ve had so many opportunities since the moment I arrived! I had the chance to visit the Boboli Gardens which are far larger than any picture could lead you to believe. I almost burnt a hole in the sole of my shoe walking up and down the steps. I visited a farm in Tuscany to see how authentic Parmesan cheese is made and, let me tell you, it’s far more complicated than you could imagine.

There are so many awesome things to do here in Italy, made far easier by the FIT in Florence staff! The FASA events offered by the school are a great way to emerge yourself in the culture and learn new things that you could only read in books anywhere else. You are also given the chance to travel outside of Italy with FIT!

I traveled to the famous Paris, France, and had the opportunity to see the Eiffel Tower light up at night! Thanks to FASA, all the FIT students and I had front row seats via a tour boat on the water. It was as picturesque a moment as any; like a dream. We were also allotted time to visit Versailles, a truly beautiful place to be, the Dior exhibit, and the Louvre. Seeing famous paintings and structures in person leaves me with an indescribable feeling. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity that I couldn’t be more grateful to have to chance to experience. Although I am a bit of a history nerd, I’m sure experiencing the Eiffel Tower in person is a magnificent experience for anyone willing to take a chance!

Venice was also a wonderful opportunity presented to us by the FIT in Florence group. Although it was cold when we visited, the Biennale was gorgeous and full of culture. There were rooms dedicated to different countries and galleries rich with ideation and expression. My group of friends got lost exploring the city and its winding streets! The experience was one that I could never dream of missing out on.

Along with the amazing opportunities provided by the FIT in Florence team, being in Italy also allows us the opportunity of personal travel. I myself have taken advantage of this opportunity to visit Rome and experience its sights. I threw a coin (along with my wish) into the Trevi fountain, I visited the historic colosseum, and I walked up and down the Spanish Steps. Rome was a lot of fun and something that I definitely won’t forget anytime soon! I plan to visit Poland during spring break and Ireland later in the semester as well.

Being in Italy is such an experience that I could never fathom putting into words. The city itself is a sight to see. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m so glad I took this chance. It definitely worked in my favor! If you’re interested in studying abroad, I’m telling you, take the chance!

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 11, 2018
by Isabella
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A Carnevale Ogni Scherzo Vale

“Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go”

– Truman Capote

 

Bentornati to the Fit in Florence blog & Buon Anno as this is the first post of 2018!  

Here in Florence we are more or less a month into the semester and also currently in Carnevale, which means one thingV E N E Z I A. 🎭

This past Saturday I was fortunate enough to have the chance to go to Venezia for the day with some other FIT students to experience the Venetian festivities.  This was not my first time visiting the “City of Canals,” as I had been before during the summer months and also this past fall, but this was my first time visiting during Carnevale, and I was eager to see how this would change the atmosphere of the city.  

Venezia is one of my all time favorites places and I prefer it much more in the winter actually than in the summer.  Some people may say that the city is sad in the winter.  I don’t think so at all.  I think it is magic, suspended in the air and time.  So elegant, so relaxing, so quiet.  The fog seeping through the little alleys and over the water surrounding the city, making you feel like you are floating through clouds in a dream.  It is so poetic that, as I wander, I get lost in the history of it.  Maybe it’s this “magic” in there air which causes Google Maps to fail because whenever I go, my iPhone seems quite confused by all the little streets and doesn’t work, leading me to give up and wander around. But sometimes this is leads you to stumble upon the best things and places.

Any one of my trips to Venice wouldn’t be complete without Spaghetti al Sepia di Nero, my all time favorite pasta, a traditional Venetian plate, and of course, if you are not going to indulge during Carnevale in Venice, when will you ever?  My initial reaction though, upon arriving, was that Venice wasn’t much different from when I had been this past fall.  Maybe a little more crowded and yes, there were people walking around in masks, but mostly just tourists who had bought them in little shops throughout the city.  The difference emerged the night, when the city really came alive, along with its hidden identities and lavish parties.  Cue images of cloaked figures draped in black velvet and lace disguised in midnight alter egos winding through the alleyways 100 of years ago.  As I mentioned before, during the day, the city is quiet and calm, but when walking back to Piazza San Marco in the evening, the biggest and main square in Venice, we were greeted with the ultimate “past meets present” surprise.  There was a huge stage with a DJ and neon lights flashing all over onto the buildings and Duomo surrounding the Piazza. People were dancing and there was all the glitter and feathers you could imagine on masks and costumes. Having such a “21st century party” so to speak with a DJ and lights in such an old and historic venue was the perfect juxtaposition, another visit to Venice.