Spooky and Kooky Tales of Florence

By: Emily Hurley, MA, 2018 When most people think of Florence, they usually think of art and the Italian Renaissance instead of ghost tales and spooky legends. However, Florence has been around for hundreds of years and while it may not be known for scary stories, it has a rich history of conflicts and death – there is bound to be some spooky and kooky … Continue reading Spooky and Kooky Tales of Florence

Grüβe aus Oktoberfest!

By: Jessica Nattrass, MA, 2018 Almost everyone has heard about Oktoberfest, the festival designed for wearing Lederhosen or a Dirndl and drinking buckets of beer. While traditional costumes and beer can be found in abundance, Oktoberfest is much more than that. Last weekend, a couple of my roommates and I travelled to Munich to experience the madness that is Oktoberfest. We had an interesting journey … Continue reading Grüβe aus Oktoberfest!

Venetian Carnivale

By Tierney Riccitelli, FFE 2015-16

After a face full of confetti that magically covers you from head to toe and gets in your mouth and inside your clothes, one could say that Carnivale is a wild celebration. In New Orleans, people lift up their shirts just to receive strings of beads to wear around their neck, but in Venice, you buy a bag of confetti and pelt people with it. Maybe you are like me and have determined what Carnivale is like based on Mardi Gras and the celebrations that take place in Rio and Otavalo, but this celebration is nothing like that.

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Heidelberger Weihnachtsmarkt: ‘Tis the Season!

By Sarah Noel Rodriguez, MA 2015-16

November is quickly coming to end. Heaters are officially on, we’re already wearing our winter coats and scarves for the chilly and overcast days, and coffees taste even better when you’re cold. As we approach the end of the month, there is one thing that is definitely on our minds: Christmas! Soon, the city of Florence will be decorated with lights and nativity scenes, buildings and shops will be adorned with holiday cheer, and there will be Christmas trees in many of the piazzas. Soon, the atmosphere will be filled with the joy and spirit of the holiday season.

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Exploring Siena

By Meredith Pollock, MA 2015-16

One of the advantages of studying in Florence is your proximity to the beautiful small towns of Tuscany. Siena, located about fifty miles from Florence, is just a short bus ride away and is full of activities for a day trip or an entire weekend. It is the perfect relaxing getaway, and while enjoying an aperitivo on the Piazza del Campo or exploring the Duomo di Siena you’ll already be planning your next visit!

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Festa della Rificolona

By Allison Boyd, MA 2013-14

Every September 7th, on the eve of the Feast of the Birth of the Virgin Mary, Florence celebrates the Festa della Rificolona, or the lantern festival. Since Mary is the Patron Saint of the Church of Santa Maria del Fiore (better known as the Duomo), this is one of the most important feast days in Florence, and the lantern festival is the kick-off event.

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