Girl in Florence

A Tuscan Texan immersed in Florentine life

Ask an Expat | So I Met an Italian Guy…



My best attempt at looking like an expat that you’d want to trust, did it work? 

With ‘rientro’ (Italian for re-entering the world of work after vacation) at my doorstep, I feel very motivated to be consistent on Girl in Florence with topics that I’ve been meaning to touch on for some time. I typically blog about travel/food/where to go and what to eat in Florence / events/ life in Italy/ interviews with locals. I want to touch more on frequent questions I get from you guys, my valued readership. By answering the questions here, and by keeping the questions anonymous, everyone benefits by being able to read what I would answer right here on the blog.

The series will be called “Ask an Expat” and in order to see your question be answered on the blog, just email me here

A few blog posts I recommend reading first are: 

The first question is one that I get quite often, even since I started Girl in Florence is one that I can relate to, even if my situation has changed a lot since I first came to Italy

Dear Girl in Florence, I met an Italian guy and fell in love, though I don’t speak the language (yet) and am looking for a job, I really want to live here. I am slightly freaking out but thank you in advance for helping me out

This questions always hits at the heart a bit because I understand 100% how scary it can be when you feel on the verge of something exciting and honestly, quite disastrous at the same time. You can’t look up your account on Pinterest or read an article on Buzzfeed without some sort of hard-hitting quotes like “In the end, it’s not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away”. Take charge of your life, do something drastic, you only live once!

All true, and I myself love reading them, but at the same time, what you won’t find in these quotes, is any real advice on how to actually take charge of your life. Ironically there are quotes for that too, usually under the lines of “everything worth anything in life is hard” — insert preferred quote here, you get my drift. As for meeting an Italian boy, well that’s completely understandable, if you are young and having fun, they are everywhere, smiling at you with skinny jeans and nice hair. Italian men are charming, good-looking and also happen to age well, just check out this fun ad by Dolce & Gabbana featuring Italiani making hand gestures.


Real love is going with you to the questura for your permesso renewal 

It’s safe to say no matter what nationality is your partner, for example my boyfriend Nico is French,  you may run into some intercultural issues. It’s always better to fall in love when you are stable in your situation, with work, with life, with the language, with friends and most of all – with the place you legally can live. If you combine trying to see if a new relationship will blossom with a ton of ‘how do we make this work‘ issues early on you will find yourself often frustrated, crying at a moments notice and wondering if you made the right decision.

Obviously it’s so hard to tell people what I think they should do, that’s something only the person themselves can decide. I think if Italy is your dream and you are willing to work hard, accept that you can’t change the country and have to adapt yourself, you are on the right track. I would say make sure that being here is what you want, and not just your heart or some fantasy of what life might be like in Italy. Think about what it is you could see yourself doing in five years time and try to meet people who are at that level where you want to live. Keep in mind that any relationship, friendship or something more – takes time to cultivate. You can’t meet people wanting too much from them.

What I would tell this girl is to get comfortable with the language, enroll in some private classes and try a few language exchanges. Meet some local friends, attend events with groups like Yelp, which has a perfect blend of international and local people looking to branch out. Pick a cafe that is local to you and practice conversation with one of the baristas. Italians are so nice when you are learning, really I have had mostly good experiences here. I know it seems hard and it’s so much easier to hide when problems arise, but that’s why espresso was invented.

As for work, sit down and think about what you can realistically do, if you studied at a culinary school reach out to them and ask if they can help you with references. If you can get a job remotely, working for an international company doing any sort of internet-based work, you are already winning. And if you think that all of it seems too much, that perhaps Italy is better off being a place you adore and visit every year, that’s perfectly ok too, I wouldn’t blame you.

I hope you enjoy this new series, I really like chatting with those who read this blog so please do leave a comment and let me know if you share the poster’s situation. What would YOU offer as advice? Also to see your question featured (I will make it anonymous) email me here.  

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7 Responses

  1. Great idea for a series, GG! Can’t wait to read the questions (and answers!). You are such a great resource for potential–and current–expats.

    1. Thanks Alex! It’s something I have meant to do but just didn’t get around to it, though now – no more excuses :). I may enlist your help at times 😉

  2. Love your post…you are so right. Italy is wonderful with lots of good looking guys, but is it fantasy or reality that you heart and mind are dealing with. I love your photo in the yellow pants!! Very pretty..

  3. Thank you so much Susan, I think it’s worth sitting back and thinking about how it could work for you, to make yourself happy without sacrificing too much. Italy isn’t easy for Italians and especially not for young people trying to build a stable and lasting career with enough money to pay for well, life. Doesn’t mean it can’t happen, just means you might have to be willing to do anything, nanny, teach English etc.

  4. I just got back from visiting Europe for the first time and Florence was my favorite part! I’m definitely feeling the “rientro” now that I’m back home 🙁 I’m glad I found your blog. It just makes me more excited for the chance to visit Florence again and who knows.. maybe even live there for a while? I never thought anything like that would be possible but reading your blog makes it seem closer to reality. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Buongiorno! Reading that really made me smile this Friday morning. I think there is something in the water (or wine) in this city and I am dreamer myself, so I am 100% for following your heart & dreams. Of course within reason, and even if you can’t live here full-stop, make it a place you visit again and again, each time picking a special spot to make a ‘second home’. I see many people who come here every year for a month or so and I think that is a wonderful idea. I wish you the best of luck!

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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