Palazzo Vettori Celebrates Grand Opening with Festivities
Renovated 15th century building consolidates Kent State Florence program into a single structure
Despite the fact that the building has been open to students since January, Palazzo Vettori was given its official inauguration on a sunny Sunday afternoon, April 17, before a small gathering of local Italian dignitaries and numerous Kent State representatives, including Florence students and faculty, executive staff members, trustees and several key donors. The festivities included a ribbon cutting ceremony and dedication as well as several student led tours of the building for the invited guests. The dedication included addresses by Todd Diacon, Sr. Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Marcello Fantoni, Associate Provost, Office of Global Education, Fabrizio Ricciardelli, Director Kent State Florence, and Hosung Chang, President of Dankook University (South Korea). The ceremonies concluded with a poetry reading by local school children from the Istituto Comprensivo La Pira, which was organized by the Wick Poetry Center to celebrate its "Traveling Stanzas" project.
A reception with dinner followed the dedication ceremonies. The remainder of the weekend featured tours of the many local Florence landmarks and museums by members of the Kent State contingent.
Centrally located in the heart of the city, Palazzo Vettori becomes the headquarters of Kent State’s Florence program by incorporating all academic activities within a single structure. The new arrangement provides students with greater convenience, community and collaboration. The building is a pleasant blend of Renaissance architecture and modern amenities.
“Palazzo Vettori is an extraordinary building that belongs to the history of Florence,” proclaimed Professor Fabio Corsini, CCI Coordinator for the Florence program. Waxing poetic, Professor Corsini further explained the importance of the building as well as the effect a study abroad experience has on students: “For these students, each door of the new facility does not only usher them into a new room but more significantly into a dream; each corridor leads to an aspiration and each window opens into a different perspective.”
Professor Ricciardelli sees the dedication of Palazzo Vettori as symbolizing the start of a new era for Kent State Florence program. “With Palazzo Vettori, Kent State University Florence stands out as one of the city’s leading study abroad programs."