Select Study Abroad June 2015: Final Week (carousel rides, marriage proposals, & beautiful sunsets)

It’s time for our least favorite post: the Final Week Post. It’s time for our adventure to come to an end, at least until the reunion. This year we added in some fun with a very special scavenger hunt which had the ladies posing on carousels, introducing themselves to random Italians, and yes, in some cases, proposing to strangers. We think it was the perfect ending. Which was only topped by a little sunset action up on Piazza Michelangelo and a mouth watering meal under the stars. We will miss you ladies! Come back. Right now.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Florence Fashion

Gucci_museumComing to Italy is a veritable fashion pilgrimage. While most people think of Milan as the fashion capitol of Italy, there are many important fashion houses that got their start right here in Florence. Guccio Gucci opened his fashion house in Florence in 1921, Salvatore Ferragamo in 1927, Roberto Cavalli was also a Florentine, as was Emilio Pucci. Understandably, we often have students who come to study fashion and textile design and we are always happy to oblige with various fashion-oriented activities. Clearly there is no shortage. Here are just a few that would satisfy any student of the art of moda and anyone looking for a slightly different angle in which to appreciate Florence as well as this countrywide passion.
Continue reading…

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Photo of the Week: Notte Bianca

Photo of the Week: Notte Bianca

This is not photoshopped.
On April 30th, the city of Florence celebrated Notte Bianca, an all-night event with performances, exhibitions, and late opening hours for stores and museums all over the city. The night leads up to May 1st, the day of the worker, a holiday from work for almost the entire city. Each year the Notte Bianca events focus around a theme that plays out all over the city’s main piazzas and public buildings. The theme this year was “Volare,” to fly, and it included incredible displays on tightropes, dances the sides of buildings, opera singers hoisted into the air by cranes, and enormous sculptures floating overhead, such as the one pictured above in Piazza Santa Croce.
Continue reading…

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Calcio Storico & Saint John’s After Party in Florence, Italy

One of the fireworks seen over the Ponte Vecchio on June 24th

It has been just over two weeks since Saint John’s little party here in Florence and things have settled down a bit. I almost forgot about all the fireworks and fun until a few days ago when I happened to walk through Piazza Santa Croce and noticed the stadium seating, which was set up for the famous Calcio Storico that takes place on the Saint’s Feast day (see here for more info). The seating, which is a bit of an eye sore to say the least, stays up for quite some time after the game to accommodate post-saint day spectacles such as the Calcio Storico charity match. This game, played between veteran Calcio players (calcianti), is only 5 Euro and will get you a seat and a taste of the official game while also benefitting a charity (this year’s charity was the Tuscan Tumor Association). In the photo below we see the traditional garb worn by the referees (of which there are six on the field at all times). They wear velvet caps and ostrich feathers along with bright and bold Renaissance-style pantaloons to make them easily identifiable if they happen to run into the fray to determine possession of the ball. Continue reading…

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,

St. John the Baptist = Patron Saint of Florence & One Awesome Guy

St. John the Baptist.
What a guy. Am I right?

Sculpture of St. John by Francesco Rustici from the Baptistery in Florence

I don’t think I need to get into it (I mean J to the B was baptizing people, living in the woods, eating berries and bark, and wearing his camel skin cloak way before hipsters were doing it.) Check out his full saintly story here.
For our purposes, we are really interested in the relationship between St. John the Baptist and Florence. Saint John is Florence’s patron saint. This essentially means he protects Florence and acts as a middleman between the citizens of Florence and God. Truth be told, he is the patron saint of several other locations, including Turin, Genoa and Malta, and even some groups like the Knights Hospitaller. (Yeah. He’s a pretty popular guy, so have some respect).
So why did the Florentines choose him? Continue reading…

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,