christmas, culture, events, expat, food, italy, life, tips, travel, tuscany, Uncategorized

One week in Florence, photo diary in December

I know things have been a bit quiet of here but I call it the fault of colder weather. While yes, technically I should be holed up at home tapping away my computer while sipping mug after mug of hot tea. Ps. Hot tea & coffee is my Florentine version of a ‘heater’. Houses are pretty cold here, and due to gas & electricity being so expensive, no one leaves their heat on unless it’s included in their condo fees. What’s a girl to do? Throw on a fuzzy ikea blanket, buy a cheesy santa mug and wear a sweater in your house. That’s just how we do it.

The city of Florence has now deemed it time to set up the city with pretty Christmas lights. This of course means that camera-happy people like myself are in awe and snapping pics like this to no avail. Tinkerbell would be proud.


So what I have been up to this past week instead of writing?

First up was a visit to one of my absolute favorite cafe’s in Florence, Teatro dell’Ozio. A french shabby sheek concept store/cafe that while being almost ‘out of place’ on via lanza (Florence south) is certainly worth visiting. Going there is like entering a world where your only worry is which flavor macaron to try.


Celebrated Thanksgiving with friends

Obviously I couldn’t let this huge holiday slide on by without doing something. This year me and Nico headed to my friend’s house for a Thanksgiving potluck. We ordered our Turkey {already roasted and stuffed with chestnuts & sausage} from a local rosticceria near my house for only 5 euros a person (we were in 15). It probably took about 5 or 6 phone calls to get the order totally complete, but only because the people who worked there wanted it to be absolutely perfect for us. Plus they made me laugh in the process. This meant a lot less work for us, a less expensive Enel gas bill and the chance for me to snap a photo of a Frenchman carrying a Thanksgiving turkey on the Ponte Vecchio.

Hey you don't mind carrying this across the city? Things you can only ask in the first year of dating

Hey… you don’t mind carrying this across the city, right? Things you can only ask in the first year of dating…

Picking up photography tips at a Yelp Event

Obviously you all know I am a fan of Yelp, or rather the interesting, international community it creates. I have met some great people via Yelp meetups and had a pretty good time doing it. This past event was at the IED institute of design and included several (free) workshops all based on cell-phone photography. What ensued what a photo contest with great prizes & a cool shindig with music. I could think of worse ways to spend a Saturday.

Plus did I mention the candy corner?

If you are wondering if I snuck some into my purse, you would be correct. Guilty as charged! 


An Italian Baptism

Live in Italy long enough, integrate like a pro – and chances are you will see your fair share of weddings and baptisms. This time we were in the church of San Piero a Sieve in the outskirts of Florence. A beautiful church from the XIIth century, one of the most ancient parishes in the Mugello Territory. I loved the bit of fresco peeking out from the white ceiling. It was a beautiful ceremony with a aperitivo to follow. This is of course meant a huge amount of delicious food that just kept coming. In fact, they weren’t content to just feed us, they did the very un-Italian action of packing some food to go for us as well. Tuscans are truly generous people. 

Stumbled upon a design exposition 

Just by taking walks in the center of Florence, you never know what your going to get {yes, I might have quoted Forrest Gump here}. Monday night after work, I took a nighttime walk and stumbled upon a design exposition at the Galleria dei Medici at the Palazzo Medici Riccardi by students at a local school. Everything was either funky or a sort of fashion extreme – and decorated chairs were in the mix as well. It was a nice diversion from my normal Monday activities of being overwhelmed by work and procrastinating on food shopping. I hate the supermarket.

Lights over Florence

If you are following me on my blog Facebook page, you probably have noticed an abundance of photos of Christmas lights around town. I can’t help myself, but really can’t help myself! 

Getting ready for #winteroadtrip

All of that along with finalizing preparations for my #winteroadtrip {which you can follow via this hashtag on FB, twitter and instagram & google plus}.Basically me and Frenchy and heading to his hometown in the South of France for Christmas and then taking a road trip to Lisbon, Portugal with stops at Andorra (and an amazing thermal spa), Toledo, Spain to then spend New Year’s Eve under the stars in Lisbon. I am super excited to eat, drink, and be merry. And of course, I can’t wait to blog about it! I Have never been to Portugal, Andorra or Toledo so this will be a real treat. Truth be told, it’s been a very long year with some very extreme ups and downs for this Tuscan Texan so I can’t imagine a better way to begin a new year 🙂

In the meantime, stay tuned to see what the rest of December has in store. Plus tell me your winter plans? Also ever been to Lisbon? Your tips are much needed!

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0 Comment

  1. Jaime Lynn (@laviejaime)
    06.12.2013 at 15:43

    I’d love to be in Florence around the holidays…love all the lights!

    1. ggnitaly84
      06.12.2013 at 15:47

      Its a great time to be in town if you don’t mind the cold (well its cold to me…) 😉

  2. lmjv
    06.12.2013 at 16:30

    This is great! I can’t wait to move to Florence in january and be able to blog
    about it like you do! I looooove the christmas lights and I’m sure I’ll fall in love the second I get off the plane!

    1. ggnitaly84
      08.12.2013 at 13:04

      hey girl! Thank you :-), Good luck on the move and if you need any advice/tips – you know who to ask :).

  3. Robyn
    08.12.2013 at 14:05

    The lights are so beautiful! We arrive in 34 days. One day I would love to manage a trip over the holidays. LOL on the no heat I home–we also don’t turn on our heat here. More $$ for travel. It’s all about decisions right? Have a great holiday trip! Sounds amazingly fun.

    1. ggnitaly84
      09.12.2013 at 0:25

      Have a safe trip Robyn and I am sure you will have an amazing time

  4. Serena
    08.12.2013 at 19:34

    Hi darling!
    As you may know, Lisbon is my second home! If you want some suggestion just have a look at my blog, Portugal tag 😉

    1. ggnitaly84
      09.12.2013 at 0:24

      Thank you Serena, you are a doll! Off to read your blog ASAP!

  5. missellenmiller
    13.12.2013 at 14:01

    Sounds like a great way to spend the holidays! I just read the latest Florentine and I love your “adopt a nonna” idea… hope you see it through next year and share!