Girl in Florence

A Tuscan Texan immersed in Florentine life

Locals I Love – Krista Ricchi



This weeks local I love happens to be a fellow American blogger originally from California that I met a few years ago through mutual friends. Krista knows what its like to juggle a few jobs along with your relationship in a country that can at times make both quite difficult – while also maintaining a positive attitude :-).

Her husband owns a fun local bar {Monkey bar} where I have spent many a night sipping vodka & tonics that I probably shouldn’t have (kidding). Me and Krista had the pleasure of attending a really fun blogger day in Rufina complete with live music and plenty of amazing food {and views}. I don’t think I will ever forget ‘Gli Amici di Chianti’ and I doubt she will either. Let’s get to know her a little better!
How long have you lived in Florence and where are you from originally.
I’ve lived in Florence for about four years, and I’m originally from Southern California.
What brought you to bella Firenze and why did you decide to stay
I originally came in 2007 for a semester abroad, which turned into two semesters, which turned into a long-distance relationship with an Italian. Right after I graduated back in California I bought a one way ticket back!


What are you up to in Florence? Work, daily life, passions?
Life in Florence is never boring! Right now I’m working on my blog, some freelance writing and translation, and living life with my husband and two cats.

What annoys you about Florence? Tell me the truth!
It’s the little things that didn’t bother me at first that now make the biggest difference in my daily life. It can be tiring to live in a city where people don’t smile at you on the street, and being cat-called is a daily occurrence as a woman.
It’s also hard to live in the middle of a tourist attraction where people are always coming and going! I’ve invested in many friendships only to say goodbye a few years or even months later. It gets old always saying goodbyes and having to constantly make new friends.

You know I agree with you on that one. I hate when people leave! :(. Do you think life in Italy is for everyone? Why does it work for you?
Italy is definitely not for everyone, and the “expat” life in general is not for everyone. It’s a constant struggle against bureaucracy that’s built to be broken. It works for me because my husband and I have a great support system of close friends to rely on, and I’m fine with taking some time to figure out where my life is going.


What advice would you give a newbie?

When you’re going through all the nitty-gritty details of settling down in Italy, like legal paperwork and apartment hunting, be ready to go with the flow and accept it for what it is. There will be lots of frustrations and set-backs, and if you’re constantly thinking about how it should work or how things are done back home, then you’ll only make yourself more frustrated.

Great advice! Three finds/places everyone should know about in Florence?

1. Dolce Lab is a new place right around the corner from where I live and I love it! They have amazing cupcakes and muffins, have cake decorating classes, and make cakes and other baked goods to order

2. Trattoria Pandemonio is one of my favorite places to go for a nice long dinner. They have a great seasonal menu, and always have amazing bistecca alla fiorentina! It’s also famous for cheesecake and homemade limoncello.

3. Last but not least, Monkey Bar of course! The best bartender in Florence is there 😉


I need to try that trattoria! What’s the weirdest thing you have seen/experienced in Italy?
What surprises me most is how many weird things don’t even phase me now! I used to be surprised by huge busses squeezing down tiny streets, cars parking on the sidewalk, mopeds driving for a few meters on the sidewalk, and those little miniature “pick-up trucks” that you see zipping around. Ok, so those are all traffic specific. I’m from Southern California.

What can you do here and nowhere else?
So many things! You can have a cocktail in world-class museums casually sitting alongside priceless renaissance art. You can eat fresh, locally produced fruit, vegetables and meat from the local market and it will actually cost you less than the stuff at the supermarket. You can pay under 10 euro for a bottle of wine that isn’t half bad!

Brava! How did you make friends and assimilate?

I first made friends in Italy by meeting a few bartenders and being introduced to their circle of friends. I found that people who work in restaurants and bars in Florence are generally more open to making new friends than the average Florentine local, probably because meeting people is part of their job. I didn’t feel fully assimilated though, until I could confidently hold a conversation in Italian, which took a few years. Aside from opening lots of doors, learning the language of the country you’re living in is the respectful thing to do.

Favorite food {or recipe}.
If I see Gnocchi with Gorgonzola on any menu I HAVE to order it!
If you had to make up a tagline for the city – what would it be? 😉 be creative!
Florence: Don’t worry, you’ll be back.

Check out Krista’s Blog Alla Fiorentina here, or find her on twitter!

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9 Responses

  1. Krista sorry we only met once – because I have left too! Always thought I was going to get to the Monkey Bar, not sure how it never happened – and still kicking myself for not making it to that blogger day in Rufina which seems to have been a legendary event 🙂

    1. I’m glad I got to meet you that one time, whenever you’re back in Florence send me an email and we can meet up at Monkey Bar for an aperitivo! 🙂

  2. That tagline <3
    And Monkey Bar was one of my favorite spots in Florence!

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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