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Locals I Love – Lindsay Osborne

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Locals I Love is back, an interview series where I get to know other expats living and working in Florence, mixed in with a fair amount of Florentines themselves. I absolutely adore [and I hope you guys do too!] getting to know other people who have chosen to make Firenze their home and peek into their minds just a little bit. This week I am chatting with Lindsay, an American girl I met while doing a really fabulous vintage Fiat 500 tour in the Tuscan hills. She’s smart as a whip, has a dry sense of humor that I really can appreciate {and very much miss} besides being a brunch master - I know from personal experience ;-). Let’s get know Lindsay a little better!

Important details:

Name: Lindsay Osborne

Nationality: American

Job: current office manager at 500TouringClub

Favorite drink: Wine or beer

How long have you lived in Florence and where are you from originally?

 

I have lived here about 5 years and I am originally from a small town called Coarsegold between Yosemite and Fresno, though I consider Santa Cruz my home base because I lived there so long after going to the University.

 

What brought you to bella Firenze and why did you decide to stay?

 

I took an Italian class for fun at a local community college, and they offered a study abroad program for a month in Florence, and since I had such a great experience studying abroad in Brazil, I knew I had to do it. I arrived late at night and could see nothing. When I woke up the following day, the birds were singing and sun was shining in my window. Walking to school with my friend, passing the fruttivendolo on the corner and chatting with the locals, I knew I wanted to stay. I hung out for 3 months, went back to the States for 2 to sell my car and get things in order and then I came back. In the meantime I fell in love, had a baby, fell out of love and have been going about the daily business of making a good life for me and my son, Dante ever since.

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You are a brave one my friend! What are you up to in Florence? Work, daily life, passions?

 

I am working for a great little company as an office manager, 500 Touring Club, offering tours in vintage Fiat 500′s around the countryside, which is so fun, although sometimes I think I would also thrive by selling ideas (I have a lot of great ideas if I do say so myself). I also have a certificate in baking and pastry, and love to eat, write, make people laugh, get crafty and do anything creative! Between all that and taking care of a toddler, I’ve got a lot to occupy me.

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Those tours are awesome! Me and Nico had such a great time. What annoys you about Florence? Tell me the truth!

Smokers(unfortunately smoke and cigarettes affect more than just those who choose to smoke them), supermarkets (pushy crowds) and lines (inability to form them). I think these all can fit under a general heading of disrespecting those around you, which I have noticed is something that can be very prevalent here. What can I say? I was raised with really good manners.

 

I think cutting in line is a hobby for some.. Do you think life in Italy is for everyone? Why does it work for you?
I have to go a little Ratatouille here (forgive me?) and say that I think anybody could make it work, but not everybody would want to. It works for me because I love to walk or bike instead of drive, I love to eat real, seasonal food and I love to live in a place where nothing is taken for granted because learning a language and how to function in a new culture means that every little thing has taken some effort and care. It is a child-friendly city and you never know where adventure awaits.

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I agree with you 100% What advice would you give a person who has just arrived?

Dump the map and wander around. Getting lost is sometimes the best way to find something amazing. Also, become a regular somewhere, because everybody should have their “Cheers”. You know, “where everybodyyyy knows your naaaameee” (sung slightly out of tune).

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Three finds/places everyone should know about in Florence?

 

1. Boboli Gardens - it is huge and I keep finding new surprises in there – residents enter for free!

2. The Paperback Exchange…as a previous bookstore employee I must tout the importance of supporting local, independent business. They also buy/sell used books and can order books for you as well.

3. The paths up and around Porta Romana and Piazzale Michaelangelo. It’s a beautiful place to go for a walk, alone or with a friend.

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I used to live in the Paperback exchange! What’s the weirdest thing you have seen/experienced in Italy?

 

I’d have to say it’s probably the guy who one day was standing in a doorway on Via Cavour with his genitals exposed to passersby. That was a disturbing image. Then again, I have probably been the cause of some strange things as well, such as my current fun-time which consists of tying food to a piece of twine and dangling it out of my friend’s window on Via Dei Serragli. I call it “Fishing for Condiments”, although it’s soon to be moving into a new phase of awesome.

 

hahahah you have actually rendered me speechless! What can you do here and nowhere else?

Bicycle down the street with a christmas tree/light-up sword/baguette strapped into the child seat in the middle of the day or night, in a dress/suit/rain-pancho.

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How did you make friends and assimilate?

Learning the language was an important step to open doors, but really, as I said above, I just started becoming a regular at certain places and being open to meeting people in any variety of situations. Also, terrible jokes seem to be a good idea. Too Soon?

 

I love your jokes! They get better after a glass or two of wine. Favorite food?

Spaghetti al Pomodoro…also the name of my first blog!

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If you had to make up a tagline for the city that you truly believe – what would it be? Be creative!

Florence- Never Too Soon.

Thank you so much Lindsay for your great interview, its nice to see that a single mom living abroad can be so optimistic and happy, plus Dante is such a cutie. I encourage you to go visit her at the 500 touring club and ask her what she calls her ex-boyfriend ;-).

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  1. Vicki

    Lindsay sounds like a total blast. Brave, funny and the ability to appreciate the present moment.
    Georgette, you have some very delightful friends!

  2. Lynne

    Great article. Makes me want to head back to enjoy the Tuscan Lifestyle. Been to Firenze twice. Stayed in villas both time and love the life there. Maybe I will meet you there there some time living la dolce vita. I am 62; lots of life left in me. Lynne Evans

      • Lynne

        Early May 2015 hopefully. How about the Italian Riviera or Northern Italy after a week in Tuscany? Any suggestions? Never made it to the Boboli gardens and I must. I live in Massachusetts just before the bridge to get over to Cape Cod. Am in Arizona this week. Would love to figure out how to make travel my retirement job.

  3. hometoitaly

    Lynne (above) come join a large group of travelers who now have the time to see everything…………..there are some GREAT solo travel groups with wonderful ideas on affordable travel….i post on trips that cost about $100 a day, but everyone has different goals….http://www.maturesolotravel.com

  4. bobblesse

    Nice interview, Georgette! It sounds like Lindsay has assimilated very well to Florence. She from NorCal where I grew up. I really enjoy hearing what people think about their lives in Florence—thanks!


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