Dear Florence,

Dear Florence,

I will miss you. I will miss your mysterious streets that are full of adventure around every turn. I will miss the many historical buildings that seem to radiate with inspiration. I will especially miss all your many different flavors of gelato, and your mastery of hot chocolate. I will miss the fresh pasta, the real pizza and all the many different stores. You offered me an experience of a life time with people who were incredible to be around. Thank you for opening your heart and opening mine

Love you forever

 

Dear FIT in Florence,

I don’t think there is a better place on earth where I could have started my first year of College or my first step towards a fashion career.  You have offered me so many opportunities. I have traveled to Paris and Milan -two major fashion capitols- and I’m sure that was only possible with your help. I have been inside some of the world’s greatest trade shows such as the White Trade Show in Milan.  And I couldn’t have gotten to know 8 other talented girls and been able to make life long friends with each and everyone of them through a love of fashion without your help. It was because of you, all the teachers, staff, director, and those attending that made this year abroad… one of a kind.

Thank you a million times (Grazie Mille)

 

Dear First Year Girls,

YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!!! Look at how much we have grown! Being daring enough to step out of the comfort zone of life and take a swing at enhancing every aspect of our lives! We have grown so much just in the past year and I can honestly say each one of us has something incredible to offer the world of fashion now that our Professors in Italy showed us what we could do and proved our capacities. Good luck to each one of you!

See you in New York!

 

Dear Readers,

Was Italy worth all the pain and trouble of long paper work trying to get a visa, or permit of stay. Was it worth the jet lag and culture shock… was it worth the sacrifice? Actually what sacrifice? This year I can honestly say was one of the best times and hardest times of my life. It pushed me academically to new heights, physically to new strength, and mentally to a new level of maturity. The Fashion I have learned about here and been able to explore is unmeasurable. This was the best decision hands down for school! If you are trying to decide whether to come here or stay in new york, ask yourself this: Which will take my inspiration and designs to the next level? For me, it was Italy.

Arrivederci and thanks for reading!

What Should I Bring??!?!? (Part 2)

So I’m good with clothing and shoes what else do I need to bring? Well here are some handy tips for making a semester or year stay in Florence just a tad bit easier:

Ten Technology Tips:

1. if you’re into photography bring a good camera the pictures you take can last a life time, but if you’re not so big into photography bring a small camera that has a GOOD battery! If it doesn’t have a good lasting battery it can be frustrating when you are on academic trips see an awesome picture you want to take take out your camera and whoops… it’s out of batteries.

2. ADAPT with ADAPTERS. If they are good adapters (you can buy at brook-stone or other electronic stores) they will become your best friends.

3. bring an extra charger for your phone! I know too many girls that end up loosing their charger on a trip or having it broken then end up without a phone for a month.

4. Safety first: Make sure you know how to run virus checks on your computer (that you will bring!) or you have a good firewall (should do this regardless of where you are) because it would be horrible if your computer crashed. All that information…. sad day. Oh and make sure your computer has wifi and a good battery.

5.Hulu and Redbox don’t work…. so if you can’t stand to miss any of your favorite TV shows or movies… bring them with you and this can be a smart idea for the plane ride and if you plan on doing any long traveling (oh and movie night with friends is always fun… don’t forget the chips!)

6. I cried when I found out Pandora doesn’t work…. but your itunes will work perfectly and so does their radio ap. So bring a good music player. (oh and a small alarm clock is always good!)

7. Make sure all your appliances are 220 volts compatible, or you will see smoke!

8. Do not bring your American hair dryer or straightener unless you have the proper transformer or power converter.

9. Don’t forget to bring a good lasting pair of your favorite headphones. Music is always a must.

10. Last but not least…. don’t forget to bring a reliable INTERNATIONAL phone…. but beware in Italy it is pay as you go (buy a card at the store plug in the number and you are good to go until you run out of credit).

What Should I Bring??!? (PART 1)

Just warning you… It is really really really hard to get packages from the state send (and not to mention it is really expensive). This is all up for opinions but this is what I think the “bare necessity” is Lets start with my favorite category.

Clothes:

Bring warm pajamas because the winters are known for being pretty cold. Make sure you have tights for the cold weather (they will become your best friends and the more you have the more you can switch up your style). You also will want to have at least one good ‘snow’ jacket (it can get that cold and you never know the weather for when you’re traveling). Warm gloves but leave the scarves at home… there are millions in Florence and they typically are cheap and very cute. Bring a hat and rain gear (waterproof jackets)! For the warmer weather think Las Vegas in the summer… go Miami but also keep in mind if you dress in too little you might get a lot of unwanted attention (and it can be dangerous too). Also remember if you forget anything you can have it sent over (but I would keep this as a last resort) or you can just buy new from OVS, United Colours of Benetton, H&M or any of the famous Designer shops that can all be found in a short walk from the Duomo (and the same goes for shoes). Oh and don’t forget your party dresses….

Shoes:

5 inch heels and higher… leave them at home unless you have a perfect worst heel scenario skill set. Don’t mess with the pot holes or cobble stones of Florence unless you like sporting plaster and crutches. Have one good pair of walking shoes that you won’t mind throwing away or won’t mind if they get dirty… you will walk a lot and the streets might look clean but you never know and don’t wear white shoes… your shoes will not last a day if you have to walk a lot. Bring a pair of uggs to wear around the house. The homes get dusty quick and the floors can get really cold at night. And don’t forget a pair of wellingtons… they will be your lifesaver in Venice and during the rainy days (and don’t worry about spending a little more for them… It’s a good investment if they are durable).

Bags:

Bring a 55cm x 40cm x 20cm sized suit case and no bigger if you want to do any cheap traveling around or out of Italy. Other than that… bring some cute bigger bags to complete your wardrobe, bigger because of the transportation of all your materials to and from school. Oh and you’ll want at least one of  your bags to be waterproof.

Other tips: if you love your shampoo and can’t live without it… bring enough for a year just encase you can’t find it here and it will be less expensive to bring it with you because of the conversion rate. Oh and peanut butter… you’ll want to bring some if you’re addicted to it (like me). almost 5 euros for a VERY small tub just doesn’t cut it sometimes.

Next time we’ll talk appliances!

What’s Different in Italy?

Well let me tell ya! Apart from different electronic appliances, there’s the language, how Italians tell time, the currency and the idea of leasure time. The Euro: Exchange rate is typically $1.34-$1.47 us dollars to every Euro. The Bills: The smallest coin 1 cent (size of your pinky in diameter), 2 cent, 5 cent, 10 cent, 20 cent, 50 cent, 1 euro coin, 2 euro coin then 5 euro bill, 10 euro bill, 20 euro bill, 50 euro bill and up. Since coins are very typical in every day use a good idea to bring to Europe is a coin purse. Time: 6 hour difference to new york, Italy uses 24hr clock systems, and daylight savings is NOT on the same day as the U.S. Shopping: shopping can be strange in Italy when the only things that stay open late are bars. Most stores close for lunch breaks around 12 and open around 1 or 2 in the afternoon and most stores close at 6 or 7 (including clothing stores).  Grocery stores: It costs money to buy plastic grocery bags so most people bring their own bags. you can’t touch the produce without a glove and you have to weigh it and put a sticker on it. Ice Cream: Nothing else like it on earth… gelato!!

Here are some pictures of what the apliances look like (be sure to read the discription!)

 

 

Whats’schoolerthanthat?

“Art can be anywhere, you just have to look hard enough,” My mother used to tell me. I didn’t expect that Florence would be a city that seemed to live on a foundation of creativity. No wonder it was home to the renaissance. I have a slight obsession when it comes to Urban Street art, which you can find all over Florence. Not all graffiti is ugly or has to be scary or gang related. For example, the school I bike by every day is decorated by inspiring words transformed into the contemporary art form of ‘Tagging’, and when shops close, their doors are often covered by amazing artwork. If you’re lucky enough you might even spot a sign that has been transformed, like this sign with a heart I saw as I was walking around. Thank you F.I.T. for giving me the opportunity to live in a city where with each step I take I see art.