Dishing 50th Anniversary wishes to Florida State University International Program’s Florence Study Centre

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It has been almost 24 years since I participated in the FSU Study Abroad Program in Florence and I can still honestly say that it was one of the best decisions that I was fortunate enough to make. I studied abroad during the summer between my junior and senior years of college and truly felt like I had hit the jackpot!

I remember the elation that I felt when I received my acceptance letter from the International Programs office in the mail (yes, a paper letter sent the old-fashioned way – see photo below). I remember the anticipation that kept me from sleeping on the overnight flight to Rome and when we touched ground in Firenze, I had that distinctive “I have arrived” feeling.

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Paper & snail mail in 1992!

Being surrounded by a language that is not mine, the aroma of garlic sautéed in olive oil wafting from the trattorias, vespas speeding through the narrow streets and astounding architecture, statues, art and adornments at every turn took my breath away and still does wherever I am in this beloved city. The six-week summer program flew by but I was able to immerse in the splendor, history and uniqueness of Firenze on a daily basis while being a part of the dynamic curriculum of the FSU program under the direction of the wonderful Dr. Victor Carrabino.

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Summer of 1992 at the FSU Study Centre on Borgo degli Albizi

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The adventure that I took over two decades ago opened my eyes, mind and senses to Italy and Italian culture. Happily, I have returned to Italy many times since then and while Firenze is my favorite city, I do know first hand that each town, each region and even each neigborhood in that delightful country is charmingly unique.

I had the superb pleasure of spending time in Firenze last September and was able to revisit my lengthy list of favorites. As a big enthusiast of strolling, as always, I veered off the main streets to explore and my list is even lenghtier now and filled with new discoveries. This visit was particularly special because I brought my invention, RestoPresto, with me. To be able to use my product, that I created from scratch, throughout a city that I hold close to my heart was really fantastic.

2015 - Il Duomo

2015 – Il Duomo

Excited to have my RestoPresto on the Arno!

It’s the 50th anniversary of the Florida State University International Program’s Florence Study Centre for which I am thankful for enriching my life!

Here’s to another happy 50 years!
Felice 50° Anniversario con amore da Candi (aka Caramella)!

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