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FIT in Florence

December 2, 2016
by Alexandra
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A Very Happy FASA Thanksgiving

‘Tis the season! Even though Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated here in Italy, that didn’t stop us from making our own celebration, and highlighting the importance of the holiday by reminding ourselves what we’re thankful for and surrounding ourselves with the company with the great friends and professors that have quickly become like family! Plus, it also gave us an excuse to eat yummy American food, which is always encouraged.

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FASA hosted a Thanksgiving dinner with students and professors alike at a nearby American church. Over 50 of us were able to have a belated celebration filled with Thanksgiving specialties such as turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and then other delicious creations made by everyone! My mouth is watering thinking about all the amazing creations everyone was able to put together.

We had such cute spirited decorations, games (Heads Up! is always a classic), and company being surrounded by those we have built some great relationships with over the course of a semester. For some, it marks the near end of this life changing experience, others it marks a time to go home and regroup, and others who will gear up for their own travels during break.

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The following day, several of us were able to give back to the community by participating in Colletta Alimentare, which was on Saturday, November 26 and marked the Italian national day of food donation collections. It was so nice being able to give back to the community that has been our home for just about four months and counting and be able to help those in need! We collected food donations at a local supermarket and others helped pack away the goods to be sent.

Florence has quickly become a home away from home for many of us and as the holiday season quickly approaches, it is clear that we have built a strong community as the students of FIT in Florence!

Con amore,

Allie

November 24, 2016
by Maria
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Gondol-ing Around Venice: Day 2

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By the second day of Venice, we had all become pros at navigating by water taxi, as well as walking on wooden planks in order to avoid flooding from the water’s high tides. Yes, believe it or not-the islands do flood fairly often in the months of November and December, when the water reaches high tides. But, to our advantage, there were platforms that were set up in order for us to walk along, so that our legs were not soaked by the time we reached our appointments. We were even told that in years past, the water reached the students’ knees, making it incredibly difficult to walk! We lucked out, however, and it was actually fun to have an alternate walking path for two days.

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Our first stop of the day was to Doge’s Palace, which is situated in Piazza San Marco and is one of Venice’s major landmarks! It was the home of the Doge, who was the major authority of the Republic of Venice. The Gothic architecture of the building was so beautiful to observe, as we jumped back into history and were exposed to the lavish lifestyle of the Doge in years past. We saw several apartments, chambers and important meeting halls which were all designated for a specific purpose.  Last but not least, we walked through a prison, which was connected to the Palace via “The Bridge of Sighs.” As sad as it sounds, the “Bridge of Sighs” was appropriately named to signify the heavy sighs that prisoners would exhale as they glanced at their last moment of freedom before entering their jail cell.

 

Enjoying our Gondola Ride!

Enjoying our Gondola Ride!

Before we got to Venice, I told myself that I could not leave the island without going on a gondola ride, since that is one thing that it is so well known for. So, after exploring Doge’s Palace, a group of us went on a twenty minute gondola ride to take in the beautiful scenery surrounding us, and of course getting plenty of pictures along the way! When you visit Venice, I am sure this is one activity that you will not want to miss, and I recommend finding a group of about 6 people to do it with, as it can be fairly expensive (around 80 euros or higher for a single ride). It is definitely worth it though, to experience at least once in your life!

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To conclude our Venice trip, we made a visit to Atelier Nicolao, which is a famous tailor’s shop that produces costumes maintaining Venice’s long-standing traditions and history of dressing. These costumes are now created for Ballets, Theatre performances, movies, television shows, and Opera houses. Deceivingly small from the exterior, this shop is home to over 10,000 sets of accessories, outfits, and headgear! It was amazing to see the intricate detailing and craftsmanship that are included in all of the products created by the workshop. It was also interesting to see how Venice’s history has been carried on throughout the years and are now on display and used for several modes of entertainment!

The FBM students at the Atelier Nicolao visit!

The FBM students at the Atelier Nicolao visit!

November 21, 2016
by Alexandra
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I’m gondo-like it here

Last weekend 35 Fashion Business Management (FBM) students had a short academic trip to Venice, easily accessible by a two hour train ride. Leaving on Sunday and returning the next day, we packed a lot of things in just the span of two days!

Venice is a small town north of Florence, built on water, so most get around by waterbus. Venice and its surrounding islands are known for their gondolas, Murano glass, and Burano lace!

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Upon arrival, we dropped off our bags and then immediately went to a site visit at Louis Vuitton. The store recently opened in 2013, and our guide was able to share more information with us about Frank Gehry LV Foundation, which is an art museum and cultural exhibit located in Paris, France.

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The store was beautiful, decadent with their classic merchandise and the exhibit was crisp, clean, and simple. The exhibit, designed by Frank Gehry, opened in 2014 and runs as a nonprofit entity of the company.

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After our visit, we were able to grab a quick slice of pizza (followed by a gelato, of course) and then we had an information session at a classic Venetian mask making store.

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It was so cool to learn about the history of Venetian masks (often worn to hide one’s identity) and the way in which they are worn today, most popular in February during Carnivale.

After our session, some of us signed up through Florence Abroad Student Activities (FASA) to make our very own masks! There were so many different options for sizes, shapes, colors and designs! We all had a blast showing our more creative sides in order to create a personalized one. Hopefully those who are staying for the year are able to sport them at Carnivale!

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Venice Day 1 concluded shortly thereafter…and I’ll let Maria tell you more in next week’s post about our fun-filled second day!

Con amore,

Allie