Girl in Florence

A Tuscan Texan immersed in Florentine life

What I always miss when I leave Florence


Everytime I go away on vacation.. ie: this past month — I always wonder how I am going to feel about Florence upon my return. Will I start comparing everything instantly,  pitting countries that I’ve visited or lived pros and cons against one another like a twisted game of tug & war?

If I am truly honest, I find that my own mind can be contradictory at any given moment. I get frustrated with the crowds leaving me to navigate the historical center like a real-life version of PacMan. One girl trying to get to work dodging photos, hand-locked couples, horse-carriages and the mess they leave behind– yet at the same time I really love being in a buzzing bar sipping a cocktail surrounded by people.


But sure enough, everytime I step onto Italian soil, it increasingly feels like coming home. I relish that first walk in the center, gazing at the Duomo cathedral {never gets old}, that shot of espresso to keep me motivated, a 2 euro glass of wine at lunch. Meetings with friends and the simple cheek kisses and exaggerated greetings.

No longer do I fear the awkward ‘what side to kiss first’  but instead just roll with whatever feels natural and sometimes even throw in a hug to shake things up. Texans are huggers and that doesn’t go away overnight. I never used to consider myself an affectionate person until I lived here but it can grow on you.  Also it is almost too easy to eat up compliments upon returning home and normally after vacation there is usually no shortage of them.

 “ma come sei abbronzata” {How tan you are!} or the classic favorite “come sei dimagrita” {have you lost weight} yes people comment on your weight.. not that it is any surprise to me, as my mom has no problem telling me that either.

Firenze to me is a visual masterpiece. I don’t focus on the dog poop on the streets and try not to stare as much at the puffy jacket mafia. Just appreciating the small things that first week back is enough to constantly remind me why here will always feel like home…


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20 Responses

  1. Great photos, I was surprised at how many English and American voices I heard when I was last in Florence. I wanted to shout out hey hey I’m English too.

    In Piemonte the only English I hear, is Mrs Sensible voice, and my own when I sing in the shower. 🙂

    1. Florence is full of tourists and students so if you are in the historical center you won’t need to go far to hear some English being spoken. That being said, even venturing just a little further out (oltrarno and beyond) you will see taper pretty quickly 😉

  2. G. as to the greeting kiss – I was once told by a Florentine friend you were supposed to “go for the heart” – so your right/their left first. Has anyone else ever heard this?

  3. This post is so interesting. I always feel the same way when I’m on my taxi ride home from the airport, zipping by the (then unfinished, and now complete) Palazzo di Giustizia, Italian radio station usually blasting by said taxi driver, and then settling back in after jetlag.
    I try to avoid il centro as much as possible, sadly, during the peak seasons, mainly for the reasons you mentioned above. Luckily there’s a lot to do elsewhere, too. 😉

    1. I think we all kind of hate/love tourist season. On one hand the city feels so FULL, on the other hand the weather has finally warmed up {then comes July when it’s way way too warm}. I am so happy to be home..

  4. What part of Texas are you from? I live in Florence, too, but I’m visiting my sister this summer in Austin and selling a home I have here.

    Susan Toalson

  5. I just arrived back home in California
    after living for 9 months in Florence
    I’ve been in my house for 10 minutes and after reading this post Im
    already crying and so heartbroken for leaving behind such a wonderful city.
    Enjoy it to the fullest!

  6. Love the guide… thank you. My wife daughter and I will be spending 2 months in the fall in Florence. We have been before and loved it. Your blog is proving to be very helpful in our planning!

    1. I am so happy to hear that! Florence is absolutely amazing in the fall as there are many harvest festivals going on around town. Buon planning!

  7. What a great litmus test to know whether you are in the right place for you. If we all made a point to note our mental state when we step back on to our “home” soil, we would know a lot better whether that was the place we were meant to be 😉

    I think every place is going to have its drawbacks to our utopian version of life. But, you just seem to know when you are in the right place, and it is clear you are there!

  8. Since you are a Florence expert, I have a question. I am traveling to Itlay with my husband son (11) and nephew (17) and happen to end up in Florence the week of June 17th which is Men’s fashion week which means very crowded and impossible to get a hotel center city which is dissapointing because I have been there one other time and LOVED being in the middle of everything. However, we found a wonderful one in Fiesole called Il Salvantino which looks beautful. Do you think that is too far out to really experience the essence of Florence? I was able to secure 1 possible 2 nights at the most in a nice hotel near the Duomo and may split the trip up in 2 hotels in 4 days. Just wanted your thoughts.

  9. Love your post! You are so right about Florence. I laughed at the puffy jacket mafia ~ the one’s who control all the umbrella sales when it rains.
    I do love to get a table at a cheesy restaurant right in front of the Duomo and watch the mosaics glisten in the sunset. That is what makes Florence special!

    1. Ciao Sandi! Thanks so much for stopping by and takign the time to read my blog :D. There really is nothing better then people watching and just soaking in Florence! I certainly never get sick of it

  10. Florence is one of those magical and surreal places that is bound to capture your heart. You’ll always remember it….kinda like your first crush. Many people feel as you do when they leave that city, whether they are a tourist or a resident. It has that extra something about it that very few other places have. Nice pictures, I enjoyed the post.

    1. Thank you Larry, that is exactly how I feel about this city. I never stop loving it, it has entered my heart and has decided to stay there!

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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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