As a candidate for master’s degrees in both Pratt’s Library Science and History of Art programs, I found the Florence program’s coursework particularly appealing for its incorporation of art and cultural heritage by means of the preservation of historical texts and documents in museums and libraries. An allotted six weeks to explore and learn of the city’s history was a truly magical way to begin the summer. I had previously spent a few days as a tourist in Florence, which undoubtedly proved too brief a time to truly familiarize myself with the city and its vast collection of Renaissance masterpieces. The many tours we engaged in as a class were highly rewarding for their content and frequent behind-the-scenes perspectives.
Interspersed with the many enlightening (and exhausting) hours spent in museums and churches was also the quiet, focused time that we spent in SACI’s studio to learn bookmaking. The hands-on experience of sewing our own books was a unique and rare way in which to further engage with the city of Florence, for we also had the privilege of exclusive tours of the city’s paper-making shops and its historical archives.
Thanks to my wonderful experience in Pratt’s program, the beautiful and culturally fascinating city of Florence will now forever remain on my list of favorite cities!