January 29, 2010

Mia Casa

I have always had this minor problem with getting emotionally attached to my homes. Even though most people would label me as a “social butterfly”, I truly am more of a “homebody”. I take pride in the places I live, the design & décor. I’ve written before about how I think that your home is a symbol of who you really are.

Since moving to Italy, I have not been able to decorate or design any of my apartments, because they all come furnished. This is actually a good thing because there is no way I could afford home furnishings here, but a bad thing because I have no freedom with the way I want my house to look.

I have been really lucky to live in this amazing building for the first 6 months of living here. Its adjacent to a gorgeous palazzo (palace) where famous Italians have lived. Both of my apartments have unique attributes, a lot of charm and most importantly, make me feel at home.

Its interesting how not only your home but your neighborhood makes you feel. Back home in Atlanta I refused to live anywhere outside of Virginia Highlands. I would not even go to the next door neighborhood of Midtown because that would mean I would change grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, etc.

I am a creature of habit. This same mentality is already happening here in Florence. I am moving out of this building, still within the incredible Santa Croce neighborhood (that I refuse to leave!!!), to another apartment within a palazzo. This time my co-worker found something brand new, with a terrace and located on a fantastic & festive street in Florence.

I am sad leaving my first nest in Florence, but really excited (and fortunate) to have found another beautiful place.

View from my bedroom window:

January 23, 2010

Libreria Brac

I just found another incredible place to wind down, enjoy working and listen to good music. I am a little upset with myself that I just discovered this cool spot in the piazza where I live (Piazza Mentana). They have no store front, no sign, only two cool plants on the street to let you know this is a place of business.

Libreria Brac is a small cafe/restaurant that it set into a really cool patio, perfect for private parties, or just to relax. I have a feeling I will be spending alot of time here. Fantastico!

January 21, 2010

Cioccolata ♥

One of the finest things in Florence on a chilly winter night. Drinkable chocolate from Rivoire @ Piazza Signoria, hmmm!

January 15, 2010

The Puffy Coat

Someone should of warned me about the amount of rain Florence gets per year. It literally rained almost everyday for 2 months. Add this with cold temperatures, pollution & pigeon poop and what do you get? Ruined clothes. I kept telling myself "This is a really old city Christy, get over it".

So, to combat this issue, I noticed almost every Italian woman wearing this hideous "Puffy coat". To me, they make every woman look enormous, similiar to the Michelin Man. Who could possibly look attractive in these coats? Only 6 foot tall women, thats who.

Being just over 5 feet tall, I refused to get one. I am sorry, they are just too ugly I told myself. So, after 2 months of solid rain, getting on & off my bike drenched, in & out of apartments in traffic - I broke down. I bought a Puffy coat from Zara for 50 Euros (which is a STEAL!).

I should of followed the lead of the Italian woman, who certainly know fashion better than me, and bought one back in November. At least now I stay warm & dry even though I look like a miniature mound of tires

Adventure of Abbycat

I am so happy I decided to move with my kitty Abby! She is absolutely hysterical because she honestly thinks she owns the building I live in. I recently moved into another apartment in the same building, and Abby prances up & down the staircase like she is in charge! She even takes after her mother and flirts with Italian gentlemen on a regular basis.

On lonely nights in Florence, she gives me great solitude & comfort. Meow :)

P.S. We miss Eme XO

January 13, 2010

Biblioteca delle Oblate

Thanks to a lovely Italian gentleman who introduced me to this place, I have found a new home to work in. It is my new favorite hide away. It is located on Via San Egidio, just steps away from the Duomo. The building dates back to 1287, serving as a convent in the 15th century, and was the former home of the Monastero Delle Oblate. Then in 2007 it was restored by the Comune di Firenze and converted into an active public library.

One of my most favorite new places to work, write, reflect. :)

Settling in & Snow

Well its been almost 5 months since I took the plunge and moved abroad. How time has flown! I have been so slack recently in writing on my blog because I have been so incredibly busy with work, social activities and visits. Pretty much all incredible I might add!

I have an fantastic job, where I get to see a lot of gorgeous apartments around the city. I meet people from all over the world who all have a love for Florence too, and the best part is, I get to stay fit on my bike Pepe!

My parents visited for Christmas which was an extra special delight, we ate a lot, walked a lot and drank a lot . All things Italians are used to :) They brought the chilly weather from Atlanta, and we even got snow! I cannot even explain how magical Florence was with snow covered trees & rooftops!

I have officially settled into living in my adopted city. I still get goose bumps when seeing the Duomo & Giambologna's "Ratto delle Sabine" at the Loggia. Piazzale Michelangelo is still my favorite place to relax. And I am still not sick of eating pasta & drinking vino (well okay, maybe im lying on that one).

I am learning a lot about the culture here and how many differences there are between Americans & Italians. Yesterday I caught myself talking to a customer with my hands like an aggressive Italian man!

I have a short list of some of the positive & funny aspects of living in Italy :
#1 - Love your mother more than anyone else in the whole world
#2 - Talk with your hands.....with passion.
#3 - Be late, always.
#4- Wear all black and funny looking puffy coats
#5- Say hello by kissing each cheek, even to your girl/boy friends
#6- Make your own schedule, hence the good & bad of "Siesta"
#7 - Walk on the street, even as buses fly past you
#8 - You must love to talk ALOT, especially over a 3 hour dinner (Italians like to hear themselves speak, how can you blame them? the language sounds like music, no?
#9 - Be proud of your country, in particular the region you were born
#10 - Love American women with your heart & soul. (my personal favorite, this only applies to gentlemen)

Italians are passionate, uncomplicated people. Its a true joy to be surrounded by a culture that loves to love. The people here are chaotic, but extraordinarily focused. Italians don't skip a beat, but take their time. An interesting dynamic to say the least :)

Now, not all is peachy keen here ! But I will save those funny stories for another post. Until then. A presto ♥

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