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Cetamura 2022: Blog Post No. 5

On June 8th and 9th, the entire Cetamura crew spent two days in Florence to visit the Museo Archeologico Nationale di Firenze and attended the Florida State University (FSU) Florence study center to watch the 2022 Museum Interns Holly and Brittney rehearse their presentation. On the first day of the Florence trip, everyone took a train from Montevarchi to the Florence Santa Maria station. Once we arrived at the station, we split into groups to pile into taxis. At the museum, we observed many Etruscan funerary artifacts like votives and statues. We had the opportunity to see a glass case that housed a burial of a warrior with numerous bronze military objects. After walking through the museum, we had time to explore the rest of the exhibits. Some students wandered around the museum to look at a hoard of funerary ash urns. I strolled through the Egyptian exhibit and saw mummies and a Fayum mummy portrait. I was delighted to see a Greek kouros statue in person rather than in a textbook. After the museum, everyone had time to spare by going sightseeing through the city.

Everyone met up at the FSU study center to watch Holly and Brittney’s presentation titled Life at a Medieval Castle in Civitamura. Everyone in the audience enjoyed the practice presentation listening to their exploration of various medieval castles in Tuscany to aid them in their research. Before the presentation, I did not know much about the Middle Ages in Tuscany. Afterward, I encouraged myself to conduct more research and read books surrounding the topic. At the end of the presentation, we all headed out back to Radda by train and looked forward to the next day to see the exhibit.

The following day, everyone headed back to Florence in the morning to see the final presentation and the exhibit’s opening. Upon arrival at the study center, we had flocked into the library and in attendance were a group of Florence study center students. As the presentation continued, the curators provided information about the castle at Civitamura, even with limited documentation. I learned about life in Medieval Florence and information about the Badia a Coltibuono. As the presentation ended, the interns answered any lingering questions from the audience. They escorted everyone to a reception area where we mingled and ate medieval food like panforte from Siena. It was time for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, and the lovely curators, Holly and Brittney, each cut a piece of ribbon in celebration of the opening. The audience swarmed into the room and observed the displays on the surrounding walls. Three banners displayed a timeline of the Medieval period in Florence and Siena. There was a 3D printed model of Cetamura and each piece represented a period from the Etruscan to the Medieval age.

On June 15th, we held our farewell dinner to commemorate the season-ending. It was a night of laughter, tears, and happiness. We started the evening with a delicious dinner from the local restaurant in Radda called La Bottega di Giovannino. After dinner, we gathered around the terrace to watch the sunset fall on the hills of Radda for the last time as a family. The annual Cetamura awards started with each award was given to every crew member with a speech from Program Assistant Nina Perdomo, Cartographer Kurtis Butler, and Taylor Cwikla. The award ceremony ended with joyful tears being present on many faces. The night ended in a heated but entertaining game of “Spicy Uno” with our Italian collaborators Andrea Violette and Ludovico Giannini. It was an intensive game that ended with multiple people winning. Lastly, we sang Italian songs as a group to symbolize our farewell. The Summer of 2022 Cetamura crew will always be a family.

2022 Museum Interns Holly Piper and Brittney Soukup at the opening of their exhibit
Cartographer Kurtis Butler and the winner of the "Punniest Person" award Holly Piper
Everyone playing an intense game of "Spicy Uno"
The crew singing Italian songs during the night of our farewell dinner
An evening farewell dinner on the terrace
A happy family celebratinga sweet farewell to one another
Holly and Brittney enjoying their celebratory cake
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Save the Date

50th Anniversary Celebration

Nearly 50 years ago, a mass was celebrated at Cetamura del Chianti, opening the first Florida State University excavation at the site in Tuscany. Since then, hundreds of FSU students have had the unrivaled opportunity to participate in excavation and preservation work at Cetamura.

We will soon release details about our 50th anniversary celebration, including lectures, exhibitions, and even a VIP trip to Italy to experience the site in person.