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art, culture, curious florence, italy, tips, tours, tuscany

A Walk Through Florence’s Outdoor Sculpture Gallery: Loggia dei Lanzi

Main cover photo sourced from Wikimedia Commons When I first came (back) to Florence in 2007 I was in love with the city but had one serious problem, I didn’t have any money. At the time, I was doing three to four odd jobs, mostly teaching English, and constantly running around the city getting a PhD  in Italy’s ATAF bus service. Meals were strictly reduced to eating at home, crappy aperitivo buffets and the occasional lunch with one, max two…

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American in Italy, art, events, italy, life, tips, travel, tuscany, uncategorised

What to Do in February 2018 in Florence: Personal Suggestions For a Great Month

This month has predictably started in a less than pleasant way. Here I was thrilled to have passed a winter without getting sick, ready to ride out the good fortune until Spring and yes, that’s where it went all downhill. Note to self, never think you are invincible or gloat in the fact that the influenza, in all of its nasty, evil forms, hasn’t hit you yet. Because you aren’t. My tragic version was the all-dreaded stomach flu turned regular…

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American in Italy, day trip, italy, road trip, tips, tours, travel, tuscany, uncategorised

The Vespa Trip: Embark On Your Own Italian Road-trip on Two Wheels!

Life is one hell of a ride I’ve often coveted dreams of owning the Vespa you see in my logo. Just two-wheels and a dusty road in Tuscany, that’s where you’d find me. Or rather wobbling my way on one flat tire as soon as I turn the bend, my hair a mess, a pair of sunglasses broken, that’s the more realistic scenario with my perpetually clumsy self. In any case, I abandoned the dream of owning one long ago…

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artisans, christmas, italy, made in Italy, shopping, tips, uncategorised

Festive Florence: 15 Quality Gift Ideas from Tuscany

It’s that time of year again when I try to stop procrastinating and get my holiday shopping done in advance before our big trip to America this December. Our plans this year are to stop by Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego (tips welcome!) before heading to spend Christmas and NYE with family and friends. I haven’t been back in two years, so I expect to be slightly shell-shocked as per usual by ‘Merica and all of its overabundance of shopping…

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American in Italy, culture, lazio, tips, travel

Lazio’s Most Enchanting Green Space: The Garden of Ninfa

Imagine the most magnificent gardens you’ve probably ever seen, a place lush with overgrowth, jasmine and roses snaking their way over the crumbled ruins of a medieval city in Lazio’s Cisterna di Latina, 40 minutes south of Rome.   Ninfa is a sublime former village turned garden (105 hectares) in a place where time seems to have stopped.  Its name, dedicated to the Naiad Nymphs goddesses of spring water, can be spotted in the garden in an ancient temple which lend to its…

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American in Italy, bologna, events, italy, tips, tuscany

November Events in Florence, Italy: Personal Suggestions For a Great Month

Fear not November’s challenge bold— We’ve books and friends, And hearths that never can grow cold: These make amends! ~Alexander L. Fraser (1870–1954), “November,” c.1918 What would a year be without a November? Typically reviled and scorned as a depressing month with short, dark days and plenty of rain, I see it a little different. It’s a month where I typically dive into cooking warm, comforting meals and rearrange my wardrobe (boring but necessary). It’s the month of our wedding…

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