Art, psychology, and philosophy have been rounded up in one new course through Florence University of the Arts - The American University of Florence: Art, Space, and the City: Mixed-Media Walks. Students walk and engage in a variety of artistic projects, exercises, and experiments to open up their minds to the world and art around them, connecting them with the urban space.
A Stroll Through Florence
By Caylee Brand
FUA-AUF hosts a variety of weekly extracurricular activities, free to all students. These opportunities encourage students to meet others studying abroad while engaging with the community. One of these activities is City Walks, which occur every Monday evening at 8:45 pm.
Each walk tackles a new route around the city of Florence, providing insight on architecture, artwork, and interesting historical knowledge along the way, typically following a theme. The theme of this week’s route was Lungarno, referring to the area along the riverbank of the Arno.
Anna, who works at the FUA-AUF Student Life Department, led the walk, which started at the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze. Students learned that it is the largest library in all of Italy and was founded in 1714 by the Florentine scholar Antonio Magliabechi, who donated his entire collection of 30,000 books to the library.
Anna was particularly looking forward to the event as this was her first time leading a City Walks. Her favorite part was sharing her love of Florence street art with the students, and pointed out numerous works created by artist Clet Abraham, sprinkled along the route.
Another central theme discussed throughout the walk was the effect of the major flood of the Arno that occurred on November 4th, 1966. As students followed the riverbank, they learned how the flood affected much of the aforementioned architecture. Other stops along the walk were the Museo Stefano Bardini, Uffizi Gallery, Corodoio Vasariano, Ponte Santa Trinita, and more.
FUA-AUF’s City Walks provide a great opportunity to learn more about Florence, however, they are also a chance to meet other enrolled students. In the time between stops, students strike up conversations about their favorite aspects of Florence and their overall experience abroad thus far. The event ends around 10 pm, making it prime time for gelato or to wander past street musicians with new friends on the way back to everyone’s respective apartments.
Overall, FUA-AUF’s extracurricular programs like City Walks are a way to enrich one’s study abroad experience both culturally and socially. FUA offers several other activities weekly Monday through Friday, including sports night and gym classes. You can find more information on the calendar of events here.
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