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Seeing Green

In Florence, The Art of Travel Fall 2014, Epiphanies by Ethan Kraft

Years ago I was really into the idea of eating sustainably and growing all my own vegetables and fruits. After hours of research and dozens of trips to a home gardening store, I had the perfect little backyard plot.  The space was small but perfect for planting tomatoes, zucchini and cucumber.  I treasured my little garden, carefully sowing in the …

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In Florence, The Art of Travel Fall 2014, Comforts by Ethan Kraft

The owner of the cafe down the street from where I live, Francesca, is not just a barista, not just a cafe owner.  She is a renaissance woman.  She is a comfort.  She is from Milan and wears fantastic hats when they are in style, and jackets, even when they are not. Every morning I come into Cafe Michelangelo, her …

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la bella città

In Florence, The Art of Travel Fall 2014, Books-2 by Ethan Kraft

The day starts slow, an early alarm, a languid walk to the train station, a short drive to the chef’s house. The pace quickens soon enough, but in that moment we clothe ourselves in quiet, in a sleepy stillness, and with a brief nap on the train to Cortona.  That day we cooked like true italians, our entrèe made entirely from …

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The Peggy Guggenheim Collection

In Florence, The Art of Travel Fall 2014, Art by Ethan Kraft

           Last week I was in Venice, and had to make a trip to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.  The museum was named after  the American heiress Peggy Guggenheim who at one point owned the building and made significant contributions to the museum’s founding. Guggenheim was a collector and socialite who played a major role in establishing …

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Finding the Personal Gem

In Florence, Authenticity, The Art of Travel Fall 2014 by Ethan Kraft

If you are going out to dinner in Florence,  you will almost always receive this standard response.  “Dinner? Oh, on this side of the Arno or the “other-side”?”.  Students studying abroad in Florence know the difference between the two sides.  The former generally represents a typical quick dinner in the form of a lack luster pizza or overly creamy pasta, …

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The Routine

In Florence, Quotidian life, The Art of Travel Fall 2014 by Ethan Kraft

My apartment Borgo Pinti, codenamed “The Frat House”,  is a large building in the center of Florence.  It sits directly in between a museum and a small restaurant called “Cafe Michelango”.   After four flights of stairs you arrive at the first floor, which is set up in a long U shape.  Fifteen guys live on the first floor, 10 girls live …

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The Art of the Hand Gesture

In Florence, Communicating, The Art of Travel Fall 2014 by Ethan Kraft

Lately I’ve been under a lot of pressure from my Italian class.  Homework, an upcoming assessment, and an oral examination quickly piled up,  which means I’ve been pretty lax in the whole, “functioning like a normal adult” division.   I have a tendency when I get stressed out by homework and assignments to let everything- eating, cleaning my room,  communicating with friends, sleeping, …

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Reality Setting In & The Road to Change

In Going Places, Florence, The Art of Travel Fall 2014 by Ethan Kraft

A week before leaving L.A. for Florence, my family and I went to see “The Trip to Italy”, a comedy starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon.  The premise of the movie finds the two actors playing themselves, on all expenses paid trip for a British newspaper.  The assignment: to document their travels through the beautiful countryside of Italy, all while …

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La Dolce Far Niente

In Introductions, Florence, The Art of Travel Fall 2014 by Ethan Kraft

I sense an affair brewing; a passionate bond has already formed.  It’s new, it’s exciting, and it doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon.   I arrived in Florence exactly one week ago.  With a 50 hour travel experience from Los Angeles to Florence , some highlights included multiple 5 hour layovers, one canceled flight, an overnight stay in a seedy Chicago airport hotel …