giovedì 30 maggio 2013

Chi sono

Mi chiamo Ilaria, ho (quasi) 30 anni e sono nata e cresciuta a Firenze. Nella mia bellissima città ho completato gli studi – prima il liceo linguistico, poi l’Università – il cui filo conduttore è sempre lo stesso: le lingue straniere. Studiarle mi piace tantissimo e le imparo con poca difficoltà, quindi scegliere questo percorso è stato piuttosto facile. Da sempre amo i Paesi dell’Europa del nord e durante i miei studi ho deciso di imparare il finnico: ho fatto anche una bellissima esperienza in Finlandia, dove ho frequentato un corso estivo di lingua e cultura finlandese.
Le cose che mi piace fare sono veramente tante… Prima di tutto, fin da bambina ho praticato la ginnastica artistica, con il desiderio di diventare un giorno un’istruttrice: sogno che ho realizzato da parecchi anni, insegnando in una palestra a bambine e ragazze dai 5 ai 13 anni. Amo tantissimo viaggiare: sono una di quelle che quando va all’estero cerca di assaggiare i piatti tipici e di parlare la lingua del posto (e se non so la lingua del posto, mi procuro un frasario e tento di usarlo!). Tra i luoghi che amo di più visitare c’è sicuramente la montagna, in particolare le Dolomiti, che frequento (quando è possibile…) sia d’estate facendo trekking, che d’inverno con gli sci ai piedi. Penserete quindi che sia una persona piuttosto sportiva, ma non è del tutto così: come quasi tutte le donne amo anche lo shopping e la moda, e da qualche anno vesto anche i panni della nobildonna rinascimentale fiorentina. Faccio infatti parte di un gruppo di rievocazioni storiche con il quale partecipo a cortei e pratico la danza rinascimentale, in Toscana ma anche nel resto d’Italia e all’estero. Non è ancora tutto: un’altra delle mie passioni è la cucina e non vedo l’ora che i miei amici organizzino qualche cena per cimentarmi in nuove ricette – prevalentemente dolci, ma anche salati!

Attualmente collaboro con l’Istituto Europeo a Firenze, dove svolgo attività di segreteria ed orientamento degli studenti stranieri. Sono veramente felice di aver avuto questa opportunità, perché mi piace molto lavorare a contatto con gli stranieri e trovo che oltretutto sia anche una grande responsabilità: cercare di trasmettere loro l’amore per l’Italia, la sua storia, la sua cultura e la sua lingua.

mercoledì 29 maggio 2013

Some steps into traditional Tuscan cuisine

written by Ilaria Gelichi

You may probably think that everybody in Italy loves cooking and that every Italian has excellent skills in the kitchen. Well, you probably would be wrong. Not all Italians are good cooks, but a feature they surely have is being very exigent regarding what they eat.

I was one of these Italians, who really enjoyed eating but had no idea how to cook roast meat. Then, in the last years, something changed. I have been “infected” by a friend with the passion for cooking. Since then, I started my experiments with food, especially cakes and desserts in general, the preparation of which gives me great satisfaction.

Well, this same friend invited me to the launch of a book, a few months ago. It is written by a friend of her, Giulia, who owns a very popular food blog, named Juls’ Kitchen ( Born in Tuscany, Giulia tells us about her deep bond with regional recipes and guides us in exploring traditional dishes through landscapes and childhood memories. In the book you can find delicious recipes, explained with particular attention to details and ingredients.

I was very impressed by Giulia’s pinolata senese, a typical cake from Siena with cream and pine nuts. She prepared one for the launch of the book and it was delicious. So try this book if you want to learn how to prepare a pinolata, and you will also learn a lot about traditional Tuscan cuisine. And if you don’t speak Italian good enough, no problem: an English edition is also available.

giovedì 16 maggio 2013

Origin and meaning of the term humanism

Coluccio Salutati

The history of the term humanism is complex but enlightening. It was first employed (as humanismus) by 19th-century German scholars to designate the Renaissance emphasis on classical studies in education. These studies were pursued and endorsed by educators known, as early as the late 15th century, as umanisti—that is, professors or students of Classical literature. The word umanisti derives from the studia humanitatis, a course of classical studies that, in the early 15th century, consisted of grammar, poetryrhetorichistory, and moral philosophy. The studia humanitatis were held to be the equivalent of the Greek paideia. Their name was itself based on the Latin humanitas, an educational and political ideal that was the intellectual basis of the entire movement. Renaissance humanism in all its forms defined itself in its straining toward this ideal. No discussion of humanism, therefore, can have validity without an understanding of humanitas.
Humanitas meant the development of human virtue, in all its forms, to its fullest extent. The term thus implied not only such qualities as are associated with the modern word humanity—understanding, benevolence, compassion, mercy—but also such more aggressive characteristics as fortitude, judgment, prudence, eloquence, and even love of honour. Consequently, the possessor of humanitas could not be merely a sedentary and isolated philosopher or man of letters but was of necessity a participant in active life. Just as action without insight was held to be aimless and barbaric, insight without action was rejected as barren and imperfect. Humanitas called for a fine balance of action and contemplation, a balance born not of compromise but of complementarity. The goal of such fulfilled and balanced virtue was political, in the broadest sense of the word. The purview of Renaissance humanism included not only the education of the young but also the guidance of adults (including rulers) via philosophical poetry and strategic rhetoric. It included not only realistic social criticism but also utopian hypotheses, not only painstaking reassessments of history but also bold reshapings of the future. In short, humanism called for the comprehensive reform of culture, the transfiguration of what humanists termed the passive and ignorant society of the “dark” ages into a new order that would reflect and encourage the grandest human potentialities. Humanism had an evangelical dimension: it sought to project humanitas from the individual into the state at large

mercoledì 15 maggio 2013

Florentine Humanists: Niccolò Niccoli

Niccolò Niccoli italic handwriting
Italian humanist, born (1363) and died at Florence (3-Feb-1437). He was one of the chief figures in the company of learned men which gathered round Cosimo de Medici, who played the part of Augustus to Niccoli's Maecenas. Niccoli's chief services to classical literature consisted in his work as a copyist and collator of ancient manuscripts; he corrected the text, introduced divisions into chapters, and made tables of contents. His lack of critical faculty was compensated by his excellent taste; in Greek (of which he knew very little) he had the assistance of Ambrogio Traversari. Many of the most valuable manuscripts in the Laurentian library are by his hand, amongst them those of Lucretius and of twelve comedies of Plautus. Niccoli's private library was the largest and best in Florence; he also possessed a small but valuable collection of ancient works of art, coins and medals. He regarded himself as an infallible critic, and could not bear the slightest contradiction; his quarrels with Francesco Filelfo, Guarino and especially with Traversari created a great sensation in the learned world at the time. His hypercritical spirit (according to his enemies, his ignorance of the language) prevented him from writing or speaking in Latin; his sole literary work was a short tract in Italian on Latin Orthography, which he withdrew from circulation after it had been violently attacked by Guarino.
He was also an accomplished calligrapher whose slightly inclined antica corsiva script influenced the development of italic type.

lunedì 13 maggio 2013


"I chose the FWIFP in Florence because it promised to be a hands-on course, in Florence (Italy) the best place in the world to get an inspiration and to increase you creative abilities.
The idea of the course is to create your own short film going through all the stages - idea, script, storyboard, casting, location scouting, planning, scheduling, shooting, finding the music, draft editing, dubbing and final editing.
During the course I was able to get all the help I needed from my mentor. 
I completed the film, that was my own work and for me it is first step to developing confidence in my creative abilities"

Thanks to FWIFP!
Anastasia Posnova
Moscow Russia

venerdì 3 maggio 2013

The "Vita Nova"by Dante Alighieri. A book that should be read by those who are in the process for a trip to Florence

Io spero di dicer di lei quello che mai non fue detto d'alcuna
Written by Fabrizio Ulivieri

The "Vita Nova" by Dante Alighieri is definitely an outdated book for the times we live in.
Oudated mainly for one reason: it speaks of  Amore, Love, (with capital letter).
An idealization and interiorization of Love in order to transcend the factual and intrinsic love for a woman (Beatrice) and become the Motor itself of Dante's poetry.
A unique book in its structure: the story of Dante’s love for Beatrice until the Beatrice’s death (just perceived in a dreamlike vision). The painful history of Dante's dolor for this unhappy love that in the end becomes the Spirit itself of Dante's poetry. Prose sonnets and canzoni are mixed so as to tell us about a world that unfortunately is centuries away from our raw modernity: a world of Beauty and Love.

A book that should be read by those who are in the process for a trip to Florence. A book to be read before coming to this city, a book that will enable people to fully appreciate the scenery, the walls, the streets and the atmosphere that still breathe that Love’s atmosphere.

(Since you have read this article, if you send this link to you can receive 20% discount on a 4 week Italian course)