Girl in Florence

A Tuscan Texan immersed in Florentine life

Bistecca Fiorentina – a toast to 7 years


This past Sunday was t-mans and my seven-year anniversary. Seven years of being together and dealing with horrendous red-tape. Seven years of making very adult life decisions earlier than most couples and many many cultural misunderstandings. We fell in love over a shared sense of humor and a love of food. Not to mention  a true desire to remain together – since Italy certainly wasn’t in any hurry to help us.

You may be wondering does this have to do with bistecca? 

I met t-man in 2005. I was wearing an 80’s outfit (going to a themed party) that probably could have deemed me hooker material in the eyes of an Italian man. Imagine  a bright pink pleated skirt and ‘pleather’ (I cringe while writing this) boots on a 5’9” American girl. We met at the now-non-existence dance club Dolce Zucchero and I was dancing with my friends. Not planning to meet anyone, especially not an Italian guy. He was wearing a nice shirt with not-so-nice ‘sporty pants’ but I had not one care in the world. I gave him my number, he had his friend call me, and at our next meet up I forced a friend to come along for ‘security’. As soon as I saw him in the sober light of day, big bright smile, great teeth (important) and equipped with a refreshing wise-cracking sense of humor –  my friend took the hint and left us alone to have our first kiss on the Ponte Vecchio. From then on.. a romance was born.

I often wonder if I should fib and say we met while browsing in the market, our hands brushing while reaching for the same tomato – Woody Allen style. But does that ever really happen? Or is my story reflective of how you really meet someone? Your guard down and a split decision to just take that chance. Even if you don’t speak the same language. I was raised mostly in Texas with a large mixed-culture family and left at 18 yrs old off to live in California. He grew up in Florence, a single bed sharing his house with his parents and grandparents never having lived outside his localita.

Despite a lot working against us, at times ourselves included, here we are, in 2012 celebrating our seventh year together. T-man has seen America, suffered through public transportation in Los Angeles, seen my family sing drunk karaoke at Christmas, accepted a re-gift with a smile, and tried more versions of diet-coke than any human being should. I have dealt with seven years of pink teddy-bear pajamas, impromptu-house visits and on the flip side – lots of delicious food and being proud to be a part of una famiglia Italiana.

I know I am lucky, but I also know that me and him took some very real chances in life and especially with one another. You never know what will happen in the future and if your relationship will stand the test of time, me included. I hope that one day my future kids will speak two languages with ease and have insane opportunities for work/university in both the USA and Europe.

But like I said – life is about living in the moment and enjoying that bistecca today, not tomorrow.

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0 Responses

  1. Georgette, I have loved reading this and hope that we are able to share many more anniversaries with you. My hubby and I live near Pontremoli, and have been here almost two years having moved from South Africa. I fully understand the non EU business! It is tricky, and Italy is not an easy place to make a new life. We have the strongest conviction that we are in the right place, even in the presence of many unanswered questions, and despite us wanting to pull our hair out at times. I sometimes think that Italy is just like a lady – don’t bargain on understanding her, just love and adore her and all will be well! If you don’t have an objection, and have the time, perhaps we can grab a coffee in Florence when I make it there next? In the meantime, a very happy anniversary!!

    1. I LOVE the likening to Italy as a lady.. you are so very right. Part of me starting this blog was to show people how properly difficult IT IS despite what you may see in romantic films.. and yes, let’s grab a coffee sometime soon!

  2. Great post!!! Again, Happy Anniversary!! And I just LOVE (and I know Fabio would to) the bistecca analogy!! Perfetto!!

    1. Thanks Katie :-). That means a lot coming from you. Happy anniversary to YOU guys as well – 3 years married! That’s awesome – love you! (and yes the bistecca reference was classic..)

  3. Oh what’s a pleasure to find your blog!! I’m so happy I can follow it now. I’m an Italian expat who went the other way, left Italy years ago and never regretted it, this mainly due to lack of job and unbearable bureaucracy in my original country. I was born near Florence, where you now live. I didn’t have to clash against the Italian bureaucracy again until I get married with a U.K. citizen. The hell I had to stand brought me on the brink of throwing away my Italian passport through the window but I couldn’t, at that time it was the only one I had. Then it ended up in a drawer, with all the disrespect, impoliteness and rudeness of the various embassies and consulates that so much pretend from us and nothing is given back. Only duties and no rights. Stay strong darling because as you beautifully said in your post ‘I truly believe anything is possible and that I could be shipped anywhere in the world and live a happy existence because it’s not Italy that makes me happy but rather my own state of mind’. So true.
    Merl x

    1. wow your story is very interesting! I am always fascinated by Italian’s perspective on life in Italy and I am sorry you had to go through such frustration! what was the problem? I have learned to be one shrewd fact-checker and I try to avoid the consulates at all cost, they are no help most of the time. I really do believe it’s your own personal state of mind that matters most because a country itself can never be the reason to be ‘happy’. we all have our good days and bad days :-), thank you again for visiting my blog!

Georgette Jupe

Welcome to my personal blog by a curious American girl living and working between Zug, Switzerland and Florence, Italy with my husband Nico, our newborn Annabelle and Ginger the beagle. This space is primarily to share about my love for Italy (currently on a 13 year romance) with a fair amount of real talk, practical advice, travel suggestions and adjusting to a new culture (Switzerland). Find me on IG @girlinflorence @girlinzug

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