A view of the Duomo
When It was suggested to me that I attend a Masters program in Europe for footwear design I had a few choices to chose from. When I thought of high fashion luxury footwear my thoughts were immediately of Italy. Brands like Prada and Gucci are made in Tuscany. I looked into different schools and Polimoda offered an International accelerated program and it was in Florence which was the birth place of the Italian Renaissance. Polimoda Fashion Institute is ranked in the top ten for best fashion schools in the world. I knew that this was the school for me. I was very happy when they accepted me.
I couldn't have chosen a better city to study in. I was surrounded by both incredible art history but also cutting edge fashion. Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Galileo, and Dante all worked and lived there. Their influence is seen throughout the city. Michelangelo, Dante, and Galileo are all entombed at the church of Santa Croce. There is an event held in the Piazza in front of the church called Calcio Storico or gladiator football. It's an old tradition for rival neighborhoods to compete against each other. The game probably started in the 15th century .Tradition holds that soccer and rugby were derived from this game. I will talk more about it in another post because it's a unique event. Calcio Storico is usually held in June.
Florence had its beginnings in a small Etruscan settlement around 200 b.c. known as Fiesole. Fiesole is still there and a quick city bus ride up one of the hills. Etruscan and Roman ruins still there like remnants of a Roman bath as well a Roman amphitheater . The amphitheater is still used. Their is an old monastery at the top of a very steep street with incredible views of all of Florence. The monastery has a great museum and really shows how the monks lived in their spartan cells. The little town has some great restaurants but it's also great for a picnic lunch. Below are pictures from Fiesole.
I will be posting a lot about Florence. It's an amazing city. Lots to see.