Girl in Florence

A Tuscan Texan immersed in Florentine life

About

Buongiorno, This is Georgette!

Welcomed to my personal blog by a curious American girl with a semi-confusing name {and it’s Georgette} living and working between Zug Switzerland and Florence, Italy. This blog is primarily about my life abroad, offering helpful tips in regards to adjusting overseas, our travels, plus a generous helping of lifestyle and food tips.

A little personal background, I was born and raised in Texas, lived in Los Angeles and somehow ended up in the wonderful continent of Europe due to a rather random series of events.

Daily life revolves around my job at ITALY Magazine as the content editor and creating, implementing social media strategies for clients ( my clients include five star hotels such as the esteemed J.K. Place and local artisans like Benheart. In addition to that, I work as a freelance writer, you can see my work at Lonely Planet and various publications. The blog is my happy personal home, all while attempting to tame a naughty beagle named Ginger together with my French husband Nico.

I’m working on learning fluent French and now German but don’t judge me, it’s hard.

girl in Switzerland
Your “Girl in Zug”

Of course I shouldn’t leave out that bit of insanity and odd sightings uncovered on a daily basis. Traveling plays a huge role in this blog, whether it be Italy, Switzerland or elsewhere in the world but honestly my passion is really sharing true life situations. Real life and all of its messy bits.

We can’t seem to shake the itch to change places and experience new things, with or without a bidet. One must learn to sacrifice.

Palazzo Vecchio 28/11/2015, such wonderful memories
Palazzo Vecchio 28/11/2015, such wonderful memories. 

I started this blog as a writing outlet for me to share what it is I adore about this beautiful city and country, while also sharing travel tips and stories of the people I meet along the way.

I’d love to think of myself as a fearless badass but If I am keeping it 100% real on this blog a quote that I sort of live by is..

“I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

I never wanted this blog to be just about me, because it just wouldn’t be that interesting. This is why I recommend scooting over to my interview series called ‘Locals I Love’ where I basically pick the brains of those living and working here, both Italian and foreign. I love to celebrate people, the work that they do which in a small city like Florence, seems to be filled with tremendous talent. In Switzerland we’re still “newbies” having moved here in the middle of pandemic this past July.

Don’t miss my features on local independent booksellers and artisans.

If you are curious about how I got here, please check out this interview with Around Tuscany.

Life is about enjoying simple pleasures and enjoying great company with those closest to you, coupled with the willingness to embrace a never-ending curiosity and examine at any situation with a fresh sense of humor.

Slow is good and my goals are pretty simple, providing a loving, stable home with my husband and dog and connecting with people along the way.

A lot of people have asked me why my blog’s name is so generic aka ‘Girl in Florence’. I chose the title because to be completely honest,  Italy is full of people like me — working several jobs, trying to build careers and dealing with copious amounts of tear-inducing red-tape. This is no fantasy world in the eyes of an expat but rather I’m just another girl living in Florence.

I also wasn’t expecting to move to Switzerland either.

Rather than uproot and change everything about my blog and identity, this site will remain “GirlinFlorence” because we live between both countries and well, I’ve been working on this since 2011.

What can you find on this blog?

Think a lot of thought in regards to daily life and the stumbles that go with it, dealing with grief and loss, way too much food, boutique shops featuring made-in-Italy designers, artisan features, interviews and monthly events once the pandemic is a distant memory. I especially try to discover hidden finds in Florence and Zug from the point of view of a normal person living and working in the city who loves food, and artisan handicrafts, not quite in that order. Just depends on my mood that day.

Spritz o'clock in my beloved piazza della passera. Photo credit: Christine Juette Photography
Spritz o’clock in my beloved piazza della passera. Photo credit: Christine Juette Photography

I adore chatting with you guys which is why I encourage you to comment on my posts and I will always give you an answer,  you can also find me on google +Facebook, instagrampinterest, linkedIn or twitter.

If you want to want with me on a brand promotion, social media consultancy or freelance writing project, just email me at ggncally at hotmail dot com. 

*This is 100% a personal blog, all thoughts are my own and yes occasionally you will see a grammar or spelling error because I am human ;), please forgive me in advance. 

Some fun facts you might have not known about me

  • My official language is Italiaenglish, a somewhat haphazard mix of both Italian and English that usually involves me starting a sentence in one language and finishing in other. French is slowly creeping in but mostly I just throw in a ‘oui or ‘tres jolie’ from time to time.
  • I just got married to my best friend in November 2015 and we couldn’t be happier. The dog however, is seriously jealous and that has never changed.
  • My name has ensured that I will never be able to purchase personalized key-chains at the autogrill.
  • I have a secret love for hedgehogs
  • My partner-in-crime is the most Italian Frenchman you would ever meet, his veins are filled with 50% negroni, a dose of patience, and enough energy to keep up with me.
  • I love instagram, but I am seriously turned off by people that take it too far seriously and ruin the fun of social media by self-absorbed posting. Get over it people.
  • I have an unhealthy obsession with the spice, ginger, also the name of my beagle, who yes has her own instagram account.
  • My current linked-in profile should be changed to ‘masochist’ with a social media edge ;-). Also I often make up random jobs to strangers that I think I will never meet again. Dutch-shoe cobbler is my current favorite.
  • I kind of miss the days that I lived on the third floor of my apartment building when I used to curse myself every time I hit the last flight of stairs. It never got any easier. It did mean I can eat more pizza than the average person.
  • I have been known to bribe post office workers with the occasional pocket coffee and ‘what a nice haircut, have you lost weight’  compliments in order to get better service. It’s shameless, I know..

Also if you read and enjoy this blog, may I humbly suggest that you stop by PayPal and send a little donation to georgette@insidersabroad.com? Your donations help keep this blog (and the emailing) going, hosting costs etc.

To get you started here are a few of my own favorite blog posts


I also want to give a major shoutout to the creator of the Girl in Florence Logo & Button (pink vespa!) , the wonderful Megan Nones. She is incredibly talented and I highly recommend her for any graphic design needs. Website 

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Legal disclaimers

• FTC disclosure: GirlInFlorence does receive free products and press trips, though expresses a personal and honest opinion about all products and services reviewed. Any posts resulting from a sponsorship, blog trip or free gift are explicitly indicated as such in the text.

• Italian newspaper disclaimer: “Questo sito non rappresenta una testata giornalistica poichè viene aggiornato occasionalmente e senza alcuna periodicità. Pertanto, non può essere considerato in alcun modo un prodotto editoriale ai sensi della Legge n. 62 del 07.03.2001.”

I do not share personal information with third-parties nor do we store information we collect about your visit to this blog for use other than to analyze content performance through the use of cookies, which you can turn off at anytime by modifying your Internet browser’s settings. I am not responsible for the republishing of the content found on this blog on other Web sites or media without my permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice.

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93 Responses

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I really enjoy your blog as well since my first passion in life has always been books! 🙂

      1. Buongiorno from Athens Greece.
        Your work is perfect and i wish you all the best.
        I miss Florence and I really want to cone and visit again soon.
        I wish i could move in Florence forever.
        Jeep doing this great job.

        Theoni “Athens”🌝🤭

      1. Not a problem! I meant to follow when I visited here earlier but I mustn’t have clicked the button! Anyhow, all good now, it’s clicked – I’ll definitely be swinging by again! 🙂

  1. GIRL! im so happy i came accross your blog. you look awesome and have lovely info! thanks for the follow back on twitter. we should kick it sometime!
    -danella (and scott, even though he didnt write this lol)

  2. My husband and I are planning a trip to Florence in June, and I’ve looked at several blogs…LOVE yours. Living in San Antonio certainly helped with the connection.

  3. Thanks for this great blog. My daughter was just accepted to a year abroad program in Florence and I was looking for a few of my favorite old haunts to recommend when I found your blog. I forwarded the link to her. I know it will be a great resource. Is Zaza’s restaurant still a good eat? What about Angie’s pub on via dei Neri? It used to be (in the 80’s) a family run fun spot. Does it still exist? I also used to get great chocolate chip cookies when I needed a fix from a bakery called Carley’s, run by two Americans . Is that still around? Thanks for your help.

    1. Ciao Cathy! That is so exciting for you daughter – congrats to her, and this means you can come visit. I actually like Zaza’s to eat, its still good just a little pricier. Angie’s is also there to stay and still a haunt for many locals/students, I am huge huge fan of via dei neri and all it has to offer actually. Carley’s I have not heard of but we have Mama’s Bakery that is awesome on via della chiesa or Sugar and Spice bakery in Florence.

  4. I just found you and can hardly wait to read some of your back entries. I lived and studied in Firenze for a year in 1990, lived with a family and still consider them my Italian Mamma and Sorellina. My sister has been posting about the election a lot, so I decided to investigate and came across your blog. I am loving how your experiences remind me of my own (even from so long ago). My heart and soul will always be of Florence and I appreciate feeling connected more to my city through your words and experiences.

    1. Tracy thank you for the kind words :-). I always love hearing about other peoples experiences in Florence. That’s amazing that you have kept that connection with your Italian ‘family’. I am sure they are just as happy as you are. Thanks for stopping by and I’m glad you enjoy my blog!

  5. Georgette, your blog is amazing! You are totally killing it.
    My heart is so warmed knowing that you are making it in Florence. You were so important to helping me get through my time there.

    I’m doubly, no triply, impressed because I could never imagine working on my blog in Florence (well, on Via Isonzo).

    And congratulations to you and Tomasso on seven years together! I’m very happy for you both.

    baci,
    Melissa

    1. Melissa! It’s actually you! You have no idea how many times I think about what you are doing in this world. Thank you so much for checking me out here and commenting, I need an update in your life! Now that via isonzo miraculously has discovered broadband internet, life is on a whole other level lol. I’ll have to check yours out too! xoxoxo un grande bacione!

  6. This sounds so familiar in a way. I’m from Mexico, but somehow after college ended up in Seattle, WA. I’ve been here about 9 months now and everything has been so crazy and busy that like you say, it’s not all rose colored at all. Making a career in another country is HARD WORK. And in the end, I am too but another girl in Seattle. 😉

    1. I hear you! What’s it like starting a new life in America? I am always curious about how it is for those coming to live in the USA. 😀

  7. Ever heard of the sweetness of doing nothing? :-). Italians mastered it! 😉 I’m partly Italian and proud of it

  8. Hey! Great blog! really cool layout.. extremely stylish. We have a creative travel company in Rome and i would love to start a dialogue. How do we get in contact?
    Sean P Finelli

  9. Love your blog! Do you have any advice for new bloggers like myself? Just about to move to Siena as a student and seems like the perfect time to start! 🙂

    1. I would say ‘get social’ (with all of the social networking sites.. google plus, twitter, and just write consistently and from the heart. :-). and send me your link, I love new blogs!

  10. Just reading through your blog now and I want to thank you for sharing your experience. I am strongly considering relocating to Florence from the US sometime next year and am in the beginning stages of research now. Feeling a bit overwhelmed! Your blog is helping to add an element of familiarity during this daunting yet exciting process. I look forward to reading the rest!

      1. Thanks! So.., as I was dutifully doing more research on the web about possible citizenship I stumbled across another blogger, Kate Hash of La Vita e Bella who mentioned you in one of the posts I came across. The world as we once knew it is certainly shrinking! Love it!

  11. Hi- Love your blog!! My new husband and I will be in Florence for Christmas this year. Have any suggestions for what to do on Dec 25th? as all the museums and such are closed.

    Know any great restaurants that are open on the 25th?
    Or know any American’s willing to host a newly married couple? We can bring with us any items that can only be bought in the states.

    Thanks Carol

  12. Hi Georgette,
    Nice blog about my favorite city!

    As you love food perhaps you’d enjoy coming to an event on Saturday, Nov 16th in Florence at the Antica Torre hotel roof-top terrace. My friend, Keith Richmond, who has 1000 olive trees in Tuscany will be bringing some of his newly pressed oil and giving a tasting. I will be promoting my second cookbook, based on Mediterranean food, called Healthy Eating for Life. Also I have a small fan club in Italy as a BBC classic series I did, Poldark,(broadcast on Masterpiece Theatre in the USA) was very popular with Italians. Event is a 1h30. My blog is http://robin-ellis.net/.
    Ciao!

    1. Hello Robin, thanks for checking out my blog :). I absolutely love that hotel and if I can stop by voluntieri! Also, I am mildly obsessed with olive oil. Nectar of the gods to this girl!

  13. Loved reading this! I just got back from Bologna and Firenze. Loved it! Wish I didn’t have to come back. I am not planning my next trip or 2.

    I’ve gotten the little thought in my head – could I move here? You listed great things about what to expect and the pitfalls to avoid.

    Ciao!

    1. Thank you, its an honor to be followed! I am very much looking forward to blogging, reading, and eating, oh yes and drinking much of 2014! 😉 Happy New Year to you!

  14. Hello Georgette! I founf your blog through a friend of mine via FB! I read very little – my working lunch time is quite short 🙂 – but so far I like it a lot! I wondered one thing: how did you finished in Italy? Why Italy? 🙂

    1. Hello Kris, well thats a good question and thank you for checking out my blog even if you have little reading time ;-). As far as ‘why’ – I studied abroad when was a junior in university and really felt at home here and the lifestyle, the food, the wine, the landscape… Plus my ex-boyfriend is Italian and was a big reason for the move back. So far, I like my life here so for now (and probably forever) Italy is home!

  15. Thanks for your blog! I’m working on moving to Firenze as a student this September (while currently living in Japan, oof there is so much to prepare for and to do).

        1. I would say don’t send money over and try to see the plae in person first. And see if someone from your school or a local friend can check it out first to make sure its legit!

  16. Strange question I know, but I was wondering if you could tell me the average monthly grocery bill for one in Florence. I am applying for an arts grant. Would 277 euros sound about right?
    Thanks
    Anna

  17. I am so happy to have found your blog! I am a Southern as well, keeping myself inspired for my move to Firenze when I stumbled upon your IG account. I love seeing all your photos and makes me want to go back today and not the fall! Thank you for posting about visas, travel, etc. It seems things will be very very hectic those first 8 days!

    1. Ciao Aubrey! Thanks for stopping by, its always nice to hear from a fellow southerner :). The fall time of year is such a great time to ‘get your feet wet’ – don’t worry, lots to look forward too!

  18. Thanks Georgette, sound like that’s about right then!
    I hope this application works…
    Anna

  19. What an amazing account of your adventures in Italy and Europe! I’m an expat in Switzerland (14 years–yikes!), and I’ve been looking for some other expat blogs to inspire mine and especially give me ideas for going places! Italy is definitely on my list–and your blog might have just pushed it to the top of that list. Thanks for all the fun stuff and pictures!

  20. Ciao, Georgette!
    I’m so happy to have found this blog – I’m returning for a second visit to Florence, after a first 5-day quick trip, and I want to get to know the city a bit more intimately.

    As I wasn’t expecting this trip (long story), I’m not very well prepared – I don’t have a working knowledge of the language yet and I haven’t boned-up on the history of the city, which are things I generally like to do before I travel. But it’ll be an extended trip, so I’ll learn as I go.

    Your blog is a great introduction to the city, and I really appreciate the insider/expat tips. It will make my trip that much more enjoyable.

    Thanks again!
    David

    1. Ciao David!
      What a pleasure to read your comment, you made my Sunday that much better – thank you! Sounds like you are undergoing quite the unexpected adventure and I say roll with it! If you need any tips or anything, feel free to ask and I wish you the best of luck with hopefully plenty of wine and espresso along the way!

      Buona domenica,

      Georgette

      1. Grazie, Georgette!

        I’m here for eight weeks, working on a research project and minding my friends’ villa and pets while they’re away. An unexpected, last-minute trip but a wonderful opportunity to explore a new city and country; as I’d mentioned, finding your blog has been a great boon.

        The people have been very nice so far – I will learn some basic Italian so that I can communicate better but I’m struggling for now. It’s very isolating not to be able to speak. Hopefully, that will drive me to learn quickly.

        I will look deeper into your blog but yes, I may ask you for tips. The trip will certainly be filled with wine & espresso, great food, music, and both natural and human-made beauty, which is in such great abundance here. Great things to feed my soul.

        Thanks again!
        David

  21. Hi, I read almost of your blog. found that you are explorer “traveler”. I currently looking for a traveler that can assist our customer from Asia’s in Europe in able to tour them across Europe.

    Let me know how can I talk to you, I from Prato we have company in the Philippines Travel and Tours Agency and I have my online ticketing here in Europe.

    Thanks. hope to hear you soon.

    RJ
    lrj.brual@dseonlinetravel.com

  22. Hello Georgette,
    I’m a Texan hoping to become a Tuscan Texan soon or will die from Absence from Italy. I was there last year on vacation for a month and I fell in love with all things Italy. I have missed it so much. I would need to work and have healthcare all the essentials, HELP Me! Get started, Please. I read your article in Inernational Living.
    Thanks
    Patrick

    1. hello Patrick, buongiorno! It’s really nice to hear from a fellow ‘texano’. I would definitely look into getting a student visa for a year or so in an Italian town which allows you to work part-time (health care should be part of this, the school will help you navigate that part..) This allows you to see if this is what you really want, since dreaming about living in Italy and actually making the move can be quite different. I do wish you all the best of luck and keep me posted 🙂 Georgette

  23. Hey, nice blog, I’m italian and i live in Florence, i was wondering if you had a couple of minutes to share some infos about blogging and maybe get a coffe together.
    I’m not intrested in your kind of blogging but i could use some knowledge.
    You can write back at my mail.
    Have a nice day.
    Alessandro.

  24. Ciao Georgette!

    Your blog is very refreshing! I enjoy reading it, also because it is honest! Thanks for sharing your experiences! 🙂
    I’m from the Netherlands and I studied Italian for some months in Florence last year… and I am so addicted to Tuscany now I can’t stay away! I’d like to return for at least a year coming spring and try to find a job as an English teacher, in tourism… or a job that has something to do with my history degree. I am terrified though when I hear about the economy in Italy! But I still have some months to think about it and read more of your blog 🙂
    Tanti saluti!
    Nikki

    1. Ciao Nikki, thank you so so much for your kind words. I’m guessing you liked Florence enough to consider coming back which is already a pretty amazing thing. It can be tough to find a good job here but if you speak a few languages and could possibly get a decent contract with a school and or/tourism company. You may have a shot. You should look into companies from the Netherlands that have an Italian site, as a start. Tanti saluti da Firenze!

  25. I’ve just stumbled across your site looking for inspiration, I’m in the midst of planning to run away to northern italy or southern france (from england) your site has been really helpful in considering the pitfalls! my partner has an ancient history degree and I work in interior design so we’re hoping there is something out there for us 🙂 love the blog!
    Lizzie

    1. Ciao Elizabeth, thank you so so much! It sounds like you are in for some pretty exciting times and I always say, if something doesn’t work out, you can always come home. You will never regret trying! I wish you the best of luck and keep me updated 🙂

  26. Dear Georgette

    I joined your blog when I was planning this trip to Florence. I have been in Florence for the past month attending a course at the British Institute. I have used your restaurant and activity suggestions constantly. Thank you very much you have been integral to a wonderful stay in florence

    1. Hello Fay! Thank you so so much for your kind comment, I really appreciate hearing that these posts help. It is very motivating for me and you guys inspire me to keep writing and updating the blog.

  27. I can’t take my eyes off your beautiful face, wondering if you met a special man in Florence?
    I am confused on one thing: Is it Georgette or Sophia? You are ONE woman, correct? Dave

  28. Hello Georgette,
    do you know how and where to find a job in Florence?
    ALex from Wimbledon.

  29. Hi Georgette! I’m so happy I found your blog! I just know I will read it in its entirety before Spring is here! I’m Canadian and I will be traveling to Florence in April 2016. I’ve been to a few European countries but I’ve always, always wanted to go to Italy and an amazing-too-good-to-pass-up flight deal came up so I just booked this morning! 🙂 The anticipation is going to drive me MAD! I’ve never booked a vaca this far in advance, lol. My question is, I’m traveling alone. I know I’ll be fine during the days with so much to see and do, but, how awkward will it be dining alone in the evenings?! I think that’s my only concern, ha. Will I stick out as the sad, lonely woman all alone in Tuscany? 🙁 If you have any tips, or an upcoming blog post, or maybe one you’ve already written that I just haven’t stumbled on yet, on how to make the best of a solo vacation in Florence do let me know! 😉

    1. OK, I am guessing you don’t reply any more to comments here… If you read this, thanks anyway. Your site is very informative!

      1. Hello Stacey, I didn’t see your comment before but thank you so much! I appreciate your support — especially because people do not comment that often in 2015 😉

  30. Just wanted to say I love your blog. Preparing my trip to Florence (Jan ’16). Your comments are very helpful and bring already pre fun. Do you have any blogs as well about Brunches on Sunday? The only thing I couldn’t find yet 🙂 Please keep on doing the lovely work!

  31. I just wanted to say the biggest thankyou for your blog in helping me settling in Florence.
    I moved here a month ago, knowing absolutely no Italian and sadly most people on my course are a lot younger so haven’t really found any friends/company.
    But your blog has been my rock and my source of where to visit, eat and drink!
    I work in wine and used to be a chef and I’ve lived through your blog
    Thankyou for making my first month in Florence pretty special – the food, wine and shops have been great company 🙂

  32. Georgette–
    Hello from Virginia. I’m arriving in your lovely town on Easter Day (1 April). Your blog has been very helpful, thus far. I enjoyed “how to dress” and printed out portions of “where to eat”. Our travels only allow us a few days to see the area and would like some input regarding a few sites on our list: Pisa, Cinque Terre and James Madison University “Study Abroad” site on Via dei Michelozzo.

    So, if your willing to continue, here are my questions: 1) It is feasible to arrive in Florence at noon on Easter, check in to the hotel and jump on a train for a quick run to Pisa? 2) Would it be better to try and squeeze in both Pisa and Cinque together in one day (Monday, 2 April)? 3) The high school seniors I’m traveling with have committed to JMU and are considering the future study abroad program that offers a location in Florence. Do you know if this location is “open” to visitors?

    Many thanks in advance for all suggestions.

  33. just returned to New Jersey from four magical weeks in Firenze! Rented a lovely apartment at Plaza del Carmine / San Frediano area.
    each restaurant was better than the next!

    but we especially loved http://www.davinciexperience.it/?lang=en This is tucked away in a small alley just off the Ponte Vecchio – it was beautiful. The music and the details of DaVinci’s work were exceptional. Not to be missed!

  34. Georgette
    Would you recommend an English speaking Real Estate Broker that specializes in the Oltrarno section. My wife and I want to buy an apartment in the Oltrarno. To begin our search, we rented a 3 bedroom apt for Christmas and New Year on Piazza Santo Spirito during that time. My family (2 sons) is coming with us.
    Tullio from New York

  35. Love your blog! I am an American who just moved to Arezzo with my husband. Do you have recommendations or advice on where locals shop for house items like dishes, rugs and furniture? Any recommendations in Florence?

    1. Ciao Ali, it really just depends. Many people go to the standard Ikea or https://www.maisonsdumonde.comotherwise you can definitely check out the more speciality shops in Florence on Borgo La Croce. There is also a great shop in Sant’Ambrogio called “Il Cuore Delle Cose” and Lisa Corti!

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Georgette Jupe

Welcomed to my personal blog by a curious American girl with a semi-confusing name living and working between Zug, Switzerland and Florence, Italy with my husband Nico and our beagle Ginger. This blog is primarily to share about my love for Italy (currently on a 13 year romance) with afar amount of real talk, practical advice, travel suggestions and adjusting to a new culture (Switzerland).

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