Regional Flavors of Italy – Liguria

Over the next several weeks, Marist Italy will be posting about the gastronomical specialties of the 20 regions of Italy. These guides were created by Alessandra Bianco, Marist Italy MA, 2013-14.

liguriaAhhh Liguria… Home of the famous Cinque Terre. The only thing more amazing than the views from the hiking trails of Cinque Terre is the food. Located on the rocky north-western coastline of Italy, the cuisine in this region is rich in seafood (naturally, with its abundant coastline and with a capital city of Genoa, a famous port-town), but this article actually will not focus on the seafood options – those are all amazing! This article instead will feature the non-seafood options, which are numerous and delicious.  Continue reading

Regional Flavors of Italy – Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Over the next several weeks, Marist Italy will be posting about the gastronomical specialties of the 20 regions of Italy. These guides were created by Alessandra Bianco, Marist Italy MA, 2013-14.

friuliveneziagiuliaFriuli-Venezia Giulia is perhaps not a region of Italy that you’re very familiar with, but I assure you its cuisine is among the all-stars of Italian food. This region in the extreme north-eastern part of Italy, which shares a border with the Veneto region, Austria, and Slovenia, as well as coastline on the Adriatic Sea, has a unique history, starting as a Roman colony, then going back and forth as property of Venice and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and then as a part of Italy (though even that status was in flux in the early 20th Century). This incredible history has had an impact on its cuisine that you can see today through sampling regional specialties.  Continue reading

Buried Treasure

By Juliana Inglese, Marist Italy BA

Carlo hard at work. Photo by Juliana Inglese

Carlo hard at work. Photo by Juliana Inglese

When walking through piazza Santo Spirito, with Brunelleschi’s Santo Spirito Cathedral behind you, looking across the piazza ahead, there is a set of large wooden doors. At Piazza Santo Spirito, 12, 50125 Firenze, Italia, there is the small artisan shop of Giuliano Cecchi, now run by Carlo Ricchi, a shop that has not changed since the nineteenth century. We entered on a whisper that handmade euro coin bracelets could be bought for cheap. What we found far surpassed our expectations. When entering the shop, you seem to be stepping back in time. Continue reading

Regional Flavors of Italy – Basilicata

Over the next several weeks, Marist Italy will be posting about the gastronomical specialties of the 20 regions of Italy. These guides were created by Alessandra Bianco, Marist Italy MA, 2013-14.

basilicataBasilicata, located in the arch of the boot that is the Italian peninsula, is yet another region filled with unique and delicious treats to try. Though this area is not yet known for a bustling tourism industry, it does feature several well-known areas such as the UNESCO World Heritage site, Matera, and beautiful terrain, including the coastline along the Ionian Sea. Put it on your list for a visit and you will not be disappointed!  Continue reading

VIVIMARKET!

By Rosanna Sumera, Marist Italy MA 2014-15

Photo courtesy of blog.studentsville.it

Photo courtesy of blog.studentsville.it

We can all attest that Italian cuisine is great and Tuscany may arguably have the best regional food in Italy. However, living in Italy will inevitably cause students to jones for other international cuisine in addition to American novelties. On Via del Giglio, two doors up from the Marist office, is an international store called VVM or Vivi Market. Run and owned by an Asian family, this international grocery store provides a variety of foods form different regions of the world.  Continue reading

Graduation 2015

Fabrizio Guarducci, President of LdM. Photo by Allison Boyd '14

Fabrizio Guarducci, President of LdM.

On Friday, May 15th, members of the Marist Italy Class of 2015, Istituto Lorenzo de’Medici Certificate recipients, faculty and staff from Marist Italy and Istituto Lorenzo de’Medici, and friends and family of the graduates gathered at the Auditorium al Duomo to celebrate the hard work and achievements of this year’s class. The ceremony also served as a celebration of the life and achievements of cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, who received an honorary doctorate from Marist College. Storaro, winner of three Oscars, a Primetime Emmy, a BAFTA, and the 2001 recipient of the American Society of Cinematographer’s Lifetime Achievement Award has served as the cinematographer on such films as Last Tango in Paris and Apocalypse Now, as well as television movies such as Caravaggio.

Vittorio Storaro addressing the group.

Vittorio Storaro addressing the group.

Storaro receiving his honorary Doctorate.

Storaro receiving his honorary Doctorate.

The ceremony featured speeches by Fabrizio Guarducci, President of Istituto Lorenzo de’Medici; Storaro, who gave an overview of his career and spoke of how he has used art as inspiration for his cinematography; a short video also displaying highlights of Storaro’s achievements; and the presentation of certificates and degrees to graduates. Following the ceremony there was a reception for all at the Hotel Astoria, which allowed graduates to celebrate with their family and friends and mingle with members of the faculty and staff.

MA graduates during the ceremony

MA graduates during the ceremony

As the ceremony came to its conclusion, Fabrizio Guarducci, President of Istituto Lorenzo de’Medici implored the students that as they moved forward in their lives, “Don’t dream,” but instead to “do things that make others have dreams.”

BA students preparing for the ceremony

BA students preparing for the ceremony

MA students after the ceremony

MA students after the ceremony

Eating Vegan in Florence – Far From Impossible

By Marina Tanimoto, Marist Italy BA ’15

Photo by Marina Tanimoto

Photo by Marina Tanimoto

Unlike in the States, Italy is very open in the display of partially butchered meat. It is not uncommon to see full legs, heads and other large body parts in local butcher shops and markets. After living on and off in Florence for two years, the brutal reality of the meat industry began to hit me and I became open to other eating alternatives.

I had never considered what it would be like to be vegan until the day of my spontaneous switch. Not only did I become vegan overnight, but I became vegan in ITALY overnight. At first, I thought Italy and vegan were two words that were never associated with one another, but it didn’t take me long to realize I was wrong.

People may not realize it, but there are actually a few vegan recipes in traditional Tuscan cooking. Pappa al pomodoro, minestrone, spaghetti al pomodoro and zuppa di fagioli are dishes you’ll find in any traditional Tuscan restaurant.
Surprisingly, Florence is filled with both vegan friendly and vegan restaurants. Some vegan friendly restaurants, meaning there are a few vegan options, are Cafe Le Vespe (Via Ghibellina 76), il Vegetariano (Via delle Ruote, 30/R), Libreria Brac (Via dei Vagellai, 18), Konnubio (Via dei Conti, 8/R – has a vegan menu), Cuculia (Via dei Serragli, 3/R), 5 e Cinque (Piazza della Passera 1), Veg&Veg in the Mercato Centrale’s upstairs food court, Pasticceria Calamai (Via dell’Agnolo, 113/R – has vegan brioche!) and Gelateria dei Neri (Via dei Neri, 9/11 – amazing vegan flavors).

Photo by Marina Tanimoto

Vegan restaurants include Crepapelle (Via Giampaolo Orsini, 55), Veggy Days (Via San Gallo 75/R), Dolce Vegan (Via San Gallo, 92/R), Panino Vegano (Via Maurizio Bufalini, 19/R), and the newly opened Universo Vegano (Via Pietrapiana 47). A few of my favorite options at some of these places are the Giotto vegan burger from Veg&Veg, Piatto Libanese from Cafe le Vespe and Vaniglia della Nonna from Gelateria dei Neri.

Generally, waiters in Florence are extremely willing to point out vegan options, adapt recipes or even create a special vegan dish. That’s not to say there haven’t been a few confused looks accompanied by “Che cosa mangi?!” (“What do you eat?!”)
When I’m not eating at restaurants, I am constantly experimenting with cooking in my apartment with the abundance of fresh produce that Florence has to offer. All in all, being vegan isn’t hard, and being vegan in Italy is no exception. In fact, in Florence it is pretty easy!

Mortal Veil: Michelangelo and Depictions the Human Body

By Rosanna Sumera, Marist Italy MA 2014-15

Photo © Sarah Klein, Marist Italy MA 2014-15

Photo © Sarah Klein, Marist Italy MA 2014-15

On April 13th, nine of the Marist-Italy MA in Museum Studies students opened their exhibition titled Mortal Veil: Michelangelo and Depictions the Human Body which focuses on three styles of Michelangelo’s figure studies: anatomy, movement and classicism. Students created this exhibition because studies of the human body have always been fundamental to art and a preoccupation of artists in perfecting the depiction of the human form. During his career, Michelangelo continued this centuries old evolution of rendering the human body and was relentless in his quest to refine the idealized depictions of it while carrying out his works in the Renaissance humanistic tradition. The exhibition was a collaborative project between the Fondazione Casa Buonarroti, Istituto Lorenzo de’Medici, and Marist Italy’s Museums and the Public II and Museum Education courses. Students from the Museum Education class taught by Professor Carlotta Fuhs contributed to the exhibition by creating didactics to accompany the exhibition. Continue reading

An Easter Island Adventure

By Mackenzie Fairchild and Aimelie Moen, Marist Italy BAs

Photo by Mackenzie Fairchild

Photo by Mackenzie Fairchild

On March 14th we were whisked away from Florence into the world of Chile. After a three day trek from Florence to Paris to Santiago then, finally, to Easter Island, one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world, we finally arrived at our destination. As our plane landed, Professor Lorenzo Casamenti said in his charmingly thick Italian accent, “We have arrived…Easter Island.” Then winked. It had been a dream until the moment when we stepped out onto the stairs, descending into the sticky, warm, tropical air. We were greeted by some islanders, as they placed flower leis around our necks. We had finally made it. Continue reading

Poets Take the Streets

By Mackenzie Constantinou, Marist Italy MA 2014-15

Photo by Mackenzie Constantinou

Photo by Mackenzie Constantinou

Walking down the narrow, busy, cobbled streets of Florence you might notice bright colored street art or flyers glued to the walls. Though, if taking time to actually notice the wall decorations passersby might come across white posters with a few lines written on them. These seem peculiar in comparison to the eye-catching dynamic works that also adorn the walls. The white papers are poems written by locals and can be found throughout the entire city center.  Continue reading