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.
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Italian Cities in Review: Torino (Turin)

San Lorenzo Turin

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n an attempt to spread our travel net ever further afield, we grabbed our camera and boarded a three-hour train to Torino, the first capital of unified Italy and home to its once Royal family, the House of Savoy. This city has been given two strikingly dissimilar mottos: “the Detroit of Italy” and “little Paris.” While car manufacture is one of its most important industries, I think you’ll agree from the photos below that the French influence dominates in this mini Paris on the Po.
 
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Novità: Paper Marbling Demonstration in Florence

marbled_paper_italyThis past week we had the great pleasure of visiting the workshop and laboratory of Giulio Giannini e Figlio, one of the oldest bookbinding and paper marbling studios in Florence. Right on Piazza Pitti, the store is hard to pass by without walking in. Brimming with journals, frames, and loose paper decorated in the traditional style of paper marbling, it takes a moment to acclimate to the many gorgeous patterns that surround you. You would never think that all these beautiful works of art were made just upstairs by Guido Giannini Jr. Guido makes unspeakably beautiful pieces of handmade paper and objects in the same traditional way that his family has for six generations. Their business survived through World Wars and a decline in the demand for hand bound leather books. In fact, it was the high cost of leather after World War I that inspired them to make more affordable items bound in the stunning marbled paper they produced. We went to see more of these gorgeous artworks and learn a little about the technique from the man himself.
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Highlights from Week Two: When in Rome…

Rome_Trip
Week two is always a special time. Classes are underway, jet lag has worn off, and Florence is starting to feel more and more like home. This always seems like a great time to shake things up by leaving our Tuscan home for a little southern Italy adventure. What other city could possibly give Florence a run for its money? Answer: Rome. However, we here at Select Study Abroad refuse to do Rome in a day (especially in the summer). That is a particularly awful form of torture reserved for one of Dante’s deepest levels of hell. We like to take our time. Over a three-day weekend we see as much of this gorgeous city as we can, we throw in a Pompeii visit, and we break it all up with gratuitous pizza and gelato stops. You know, when in Rome…

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