BY CHIARA CARLUCCI at Borgo Antico ||

I was born in Fiesole, a small town just a few kilometers outside of Florence. I’ve always been curious about life outside of Italy, from cultures to languages to lifestyles.

After working in restaurants in London for some months, I returned to Florence to save money with hopes to work abroad again and to pursue my creative aspirations. I had mixed feelings about returning to the service industry, but my time at Borgo Antico quickly reminded me why working ina restaurant can be so fulfilling. One of my favorite parts about the job is the relationships I built with my colleagues. We all shared a common work ethic but knew how to have fun on the job. The most rewarding aspects of being a server are that I met people from all over the world and got the opportunity to leave them with an unforgettable memory in my beloved city to take home and cherish forever.

When I wasn’t at the restaurant I was taking online courses in graphic design. I became so fascinated with how words and concepts can be translated into visual contents. With the new knowledge I had obtained, I started exploring marketing techniques, psychology, and consumer behaviors, and developed a project inspired by pre-historic cave paintings.

My goal was to contextualize prehistoric humans in modern time, questioning our evolution and how much we have changed through time through collage and watercolor. It is a reflection of how different we are from ancient times. We all carry things with us now; suitcases, phones, cups of coffee, and always questions.

The main question is: WHO ARE WE?

Do we identify more with our material possessions or rather with the questions we carry? Human beings have always had questions, since ancient times, since existence. Today, in a world ruled by consumerism and the things we own, identification can be easily misleading, perhaps more so than ever. It’s a project I’m still developing.

My years of experience in service also allowed me to dive into my other passions, one of them being language learning. I grew up with an English nanny and took English through school, but working at the restaurant offered me opportunities to speak with people in natural, unstaged, organic ways. I would attribute this to helping me obtain my current job in Vienna, where I now work in online marketing for Lomography, a photography company. 

Afterwords by Executive Director Carly Brahim: 
Chiara and I met in Florence, Italy at a bar back in October 2016. At that point, I had been living in Florence for about a month and was feeling like I had finally got my bearings.  The Florentines I had met so far had been kind and polite and eager to converse with me, but I found myself initiating most conversations.
But my interaction with Chiara was starkly different from the start. We were introduced to each other and quickly got to talking. She had so many questions about my background, what brought me to Italy; this interaction was something I hadn’t really experienced so far in my stay. She told me she was currently working in London, but would return to Florence in January.
Months passed. We reconnected when she got back and since then, she’s remained one of my dearest friends. Her intention to come back to Florence was to save money while working at a restaurant, so later she could chase her dream of living abroad again and pursuing her creative passions. Her open-mindedness, excitement about life, and genuine curiosity about people are truly inspiring. Hopefully, we’ll be reunited soon sharing pizza and drinking wine at Borgo Antico.