expat, interview, interviews, italy, locals i love, opinion, travel, tuscany, Uncategorized, working in italy

Locals I Love – Chiara Brandi


This week we are chatting with a true Fiorentina, Chiara, whose bright smile you can’t ignore. I met her through blogging circles and I welcome any chance to get a little insight into how she manages it all, being a smart and accomplished Marketing manager, mom and blogger while also looking pretty cute at the same time. When I decide to have kids one day and not just a beagle puppy, Chiara will be hearing from me ;-). This Wednesday morning, let’s get to know a Florentine in Florence!


Name: Chiara Brandi

Nationality: I’m proudly florentine aka Italian
Profession: marketing manager and blogger (and mum, also)
Favorite drink: Red Martini

How long have you lived in Florence and where are you from originally?
I was born in Florence and I almost always have lived here, except when I was at University, I completed a one-year exchange program in London and when I started my professional life, I moved for a while in Bologna. But, finally, I feel at home only when back in Florence.

What are you up to in Florence? Work, daily life, passions?

I love the perfect balance of this city that is between a small village where everybody knows each other, and international city with a wide offer of cultural events, party, restaurant, bars and nightlife, especially during these most recent years. You can spend an afternoon in a modern art exhibition and spend the day after in the countryside at a food sagra (festival), it makes your life easy and interesting at the same time.



What annoys you about Florence? Tell me the truth!
The spirit of most of the Florentines that DO NOT want novelties and changes: this is one of the worst attitude we have, we fear innovation. This will never change the spirit of the city to that of an authentic international attitude, and this I feel is a great loss. I hope this could change in the future.


Do you think life in Italy is for everyone? Why does it work for you?
Personally I feel that life in Italy is getting worse and worse. We have no vision of future, even if we have much more attitude than any other country to overcome the crisis with our ability and knowledge. Even if you are young and have some innovative ideas, the system do not encourage you to play your cards. Sometimes I seriously think about moving away…but, at the end, the quality of life here is still one of the best in the world and we always find a way to survive to our bureaucracy and lack of innovation.


Very well said, Chiara, I agree with you 100% about the system not helping you realize your potential here in Italy. I often say that exact thing. What advice would you give a person who has just arrived?
Be very very patient, take it easy which gains you respect during the queues!


Three finds/places everyone should know about in Florence?
Giardino delle Rose, lovely place to see a wonderful city landscape
Oltrarno, the real authentic city centre
Orti Dipinti, hidden community-garden, an example of new attitudes in the city


I Have to check out this ‘orti dipinti’ thanks for the tip! What’s the weirdest thing you have seen/experienced in Italy?
Crowding people who want not respect any queue(line)…I hate this attitude…happens only here!


What can you do here and nowhere else?
Enjoy your life, enjoy your friends, enjoy great food


Chiara with Cooking school owner and fabulous person, Velia De Angelis


SO true! How did you make friends and assimilate?
In the past, most of my friends was schoolmate or colleagues. Now, a lot of “online” friends met on socials or linked to my blog are also “real” friends…like you! And I love it!


I am the lucky one to have met you Chiara, keep on staying fabulous, now my favorite question… Favorite food? 
As Tuscan food, Ribollita without any doubt.


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

Thank you so much Chiara for agreeing to be one of my ‘locals I Love’, you provide a very real point of view from a Fiorentina DOC and I appreciate that! I recommend following Chiara on twitter, and via her awesome blog, Forchettinagiramondo.




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0 Comment

  1. lizbert1
    18.06.2014 at 11:02

    Great blog & advice – “be patient” – love it!

    1. GirlinFlorence
      18.06.2014 at 12:01

      I thought that was great advice as well, thanks for reading Liz!

      1. lizbert1
        22.06.2014 at 14:25

        Love your posts by the way, always read them! Keep ’em coming! :o)

        1. GirlinFlorence
          23.06.2014 at 9:46

          Thanks Liz!

  2. Gil
    18.06.2014 at 22:36

    Great interview full of good info.

  3. Cindy
    19.06.2014 at 3:21

    Fun interview! I checked out chiara’s blog-Bella torta!! I think it can be hard to make friends as an adult, anywhere, so it’s great to meet people through your blog.
    You’ve been very busy G! I’m just now catching up with all your latest entrees!

    1. GirlinFlorence
      19.06.2014 at 9:20

      Thanks Cindy 🙂 It has been a really busy (but great) summer so far, thanks for always checking out my blog, I really appreciate it!

  4. bobblesse
    28.06.2014 at 18:04

    Thanks, Georgette, this one slipped by me in the craziness of getting ready to move to Florence—I can’t believe it’s just a little over two months before we leave!
    I really enjoy your interviews and the straightforwardness you are able to elicit. We so looking forward to our upcoming life in Florence, but I must say that I get stressed when I hear everyone commenting on the queues, or lack thereof. I guess that following Chiara’s advice of patience, patience, patience, will be very important.

    1. GirlinFlorence
      28.06.2014 at 19:28

      Thanks Bob, how is everything going regarding your move to Florence? If you need any advice or help, you just let me know! Also Chiara had a point, as long as you can get over the lines, you will be a much happier person. 🙂