Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici celebrates 50 years of international education

Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici celebrates 50 years of international education

LdM held the party of all parties at Stazione Leopolda.

Wed 13 Dec 2023 11:25 AM

Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici is celebrating 50 years of international education in Florence

Founded in 1973, LdM has fostered encounter and dialogue between cultures and people ever since. Today, the Institute welcomes over 4,000 international students every year and relies on institutional partners worldwide and an academic offering that spans 7 schools, 36 departments and over 500 courses. In this 50-year journey with students, faculty and staff, LdM has spread its wings while staying true to the original inspiration: encouraging generations of young people to discover their talents and nurture their passions, while maintaining the ability to be excited by the many challenges and achievements of this unique life experience.

Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici celebrated 50 years of education with the party of all parties at Florence’s Stazione Leopolda

With all this in mind, Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici celebrated its achievements by throwing the party of all parties at Stazione Leopolda on November 29. Around 1,500 guests gathered in what was Florence’s first train station and now events venue extraordinaire for an evening filled with energy and optimism.

Carla Guarducci, president and CEO of Lorenzo de’ Medici Institute – LdM, spoke about her hopes for the future. “Today the Leopolda Station is no longer a place where trains depart and arrive, and journeys start and end. And yet, tonight, it is a space that opens up to the world, a meeting place for ideas, people, cultures and countries. This evening we celebrate not only the milestone of 50 years of activity, but also the joy of being here together with friends, staff and teachers, who have contributed their dedication to the passion and the history of the institute over the years. I wish you to embrace emotions because, as the Latin meaning of this word tells us, emotion also means “movement”. On this evening of emotions, I share with you the most beautiful wish, the same that I wish for the Institute, the wish to embrace a movement that means encounters with others and with yourselves.”

Carla Guarducci, president and CEO of Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici

The president and CEO was joined on stage by Elisabetta Meucci, city councillor for education, who recalled LdM as being the “pioneers of study abroad in Florence” and praised the founders “farsightedness”, and Hasmin Espiritu, consular assistant supervisor at the U.S. Consulate General Florence, who addressed the students as follows: “LdM’s goal has been that each of you have a wonderful experience learning everything that this beautiful Renaissance city has to offer, so please take advantage of it. I guarantee that you’ll always remember your months spent here in Florence.”

Elisabetta Meucci, city councillor for education
Hasmin Espiritu, consular assistant supervisor at the U.S. Consulate General Florence

The Capture the Moment area saw two photo booths encouraging guests to pose for a professional shot, while images chosen from the current semester’s photography courses were projected onto a screen. While the main apse of the events space benefitted from seating for guests to mingle, the various side rooms brimmed with the Institute’s multifaceted initiatives. Italian-Australian performance artist Marisa Garreffa delivered an emotionally charged storytelling continuum in the Poetry area. Onlookers became participants, writing down their words on sheets of paper that were subsequently embroidered onto the performer’s wedding-like dress. Visitors spoke with the LdM Press team, sharing their thoughts and feelings, and gained a small gift of words as fragments of texts in tubs divided by emotion: love, loneliness, curiosity, courage, hope, fear, anger and fear.

Italian-Australian performance artist Marisa Garreffa

Street art pulled in the crowds as students from the intermediate and advanced painting courses created two large-scale works alongside street artist Ache 77. In this joint project by the LdM Studio Arts Department and Street Levels Gallery, the artist and students worked side by side to paint two big eyes, whose gazes intersected to symbolize the theme of mutual understanding once cherished by Florentine humanists, conveying a message that perfectly resonates with LdM’s mission and with the spirit of the celebration.

Street art led by Ache 77

On the food front, the bread used to prepare typical bruschette drizzled with the season’s olive oil was baked by the Italian Gastronomy students from LdM’s new InGrained in our History: The Bread Experience, while the evening’s food stations offered a generous array of dishes from northern, central and southern Italy, and even live pizza preparation.

The evening continued with performances by LdM students, including neoclassical ballet choreographed by Lucia Simoneschi and a repertoire of songs written and set to music by Nina Murano, inspired by the small wonders of everyday life. The night came to a close with dancing under the roaming lights of “Alcatraz”, a spectacular corner of Stazione Leopolda complete with concrete pillars and metal staircases.

Here’s to the next 50 years, LdM!

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