Girl in Florence

A Tuscan Texan immersed in Florentine life

Locals I Love – Lisa Gucciarelli


This week I plan on interviewing Lisa Gucciarelli an Italian entrepreneur whose favorite drink is apple juice. I met Lisa through one of my day jobs at Nana Bianca  a startup incubator in the center of Florence whose goal it is to help and encourage young Italian businesses (especially artisans) realize their potential — needless to say it’s pretty badass. Lisa’s startup happens to be one that I personally adore – Buru Buru! An e-commerce store where you can find quality products by young Italian artisans.

I love seeing {and working alongside} passionate young people in Italy since as we know how tough of a work-climate it can be here. You can’t help but be personally inspired by seeing what is happening right now by real people in the city that you call home.  The American in me still embraces the idea of the ‘American dream’ and hey, once in a while you just have to throw caution to the wind and take a risk, so bravi giovani Italiani! Now let’s start the questions!

buru buru site vetrina

Buru Buru party at Nana Bianca headquarters in Florence during Pitti Uomo fashion week

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

I was born in Florence and excluding long or short periods (up to 3 years) I’ve always lived here :-). 

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

For a year now have dedicated myself entirely to our creation: Buru Buru – e-commerce site that we launched in December featuring contemporary artisan-crafted goods. In my free time, which honestly is very little, I think I do all the things everyone else does — I visit friends, go to the movies …. I meet people. I do things.


What annoys you about Florence? Tell me the truth!

I’m back in Florence after a few years living in Rome, because I need to live in a city scaled for a human, where you can get around via bike and be able to meet people without having to make an appointment weeks before. For this, Florence is perfect! Having said that, a medium-sized city does not offer a million things to do, but I have to say that Florence in not as idle as one would think. The problem in Firenze is perhaps the provincialism, this way of thinking by default means not accepting openly and immediately new things, new people, and new ideas. The trend here in my opinion is to keep a certain ‘closed’ container in which it can be very difficult to enter. I must say that recently, things seem to be changing, fortunately!

That is very interesting, Lisa! I really believe like you do, the Florentines as a population can be a hard nut to crack but I also see how that is changing. Do you think life in Italy is for everyone? Why does it work for you?

I think that Italy is a nice place to live. Having said this, it is also a country of traditions that are not always understood or correct. I for now have chosen to live here, for better or for worse.

The Buru Buru family

What advice would you give a person who just moved to Florence?
Hmmm … there are so many corners of this city to discover and going just a few kilometers away there are some truly wonderful places. I really like the oltrarno area of town, still authentic ‘and not totally catered just for tourists. Let’s just say, it’s a place that is accessible to everyone’s wallet. Then there are the gardens, for example, the Rose garden  which is beautiful. Sundays at Cascine park is the perfect place to unwind and spend time with friends. Apart from this there are places that make me feel happy (the Circolo Aurora, for example), but I think it’s totally personal, so it really depends on your own tastes. 

I think we like a lot of the same places! Three finds/places everyone should know about in Florence?

Mario vicino Porta Romana, the best sandwich made with boiled meat in Florence!
La Gelateria dei Medici by statuto, mouth-watering ice cream
Chicco di caffè (ask for Lola) near Piazza di Santo Spirito, perfect for lunch, delicious and great prices

Great tips, thank you! From a local, what can you do here and nowhere else? 

Watch the sunset from the triangle platforms on the Ponte Santa Trinita


Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Too futuristic of a question for me, I hope to be  in a place where I’m fine :-).

Good answer {and that is a very ‘American’ question at that}. Favorite food {or recipe}? 

Ribollita, which I owe to my mother. Or coniglio in umido {Rabbit stew}, which I owe to my father. And last but not least, Pansotti with walnut sauce, which I owe to my mother-in-law!

If you had to make up a tagline for the city – what would it be? 😉 be creative!
From today — Florence is on the move! 

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions :-), it’s inspiring to see people like you working hard and trying to make a success of your passion in your city.

Stay connected with Lisa and check out Buru Buru via their tumblr blog {in Italian} or twitter and FB. And if you want to see what Nana Bianca startup incubator is up to – check out their blog here.

Related Posts

5 Responses

  1. I read that many of your interviewees think Firenze has a ‘closed mentality’, i.e. doesn’t accept new ideas, new things, new people, and so on. I would like to argue that Firenze it is what it is today, with it’s old streets and palazzos, and its artisans and traditional food *because* of its reluctance to change. Wanna try bringing some New York or Silicon Valley types to bring about *change*? To globalize the city? See how you’d all like it after that 😉
    So I say: embrace the old and traditional, keep it the way it is, even some of its faults, and reject globalization that tries to make every place and every person the same. Same buildings, same jobs, same products, same rules, same desired, same aspirations, same hobbies, same gadgets, same food, same clothes, global everything!

    1. Ya know I do understand what you are saying but I think you sort of miss the point, I think most people love and embrace the city, especially the traditional aspects. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have the right to admit having trouble getting to know or making lasting friendships with people who have tight friend circles and that can be understandable. There is a bit of a sort of ‘clique’ mentality here and it is hard to break. I want people to share their real experiences and not just say what people want to hear, especially not on this blog. I do not think people are trying to change that nor do they say that. I would suggest reading a few more of these posts and seeing beyond the ‘i don’t like things the way they are’, in fact you won’t see that, if anything you will see a want and willingness to accept things, with the hope of cracking the shell of some locals 😉

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

recent post
Lonely Planet

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.