A travel journal
to Florence by Stella
Quote: If you've ever wondered what it might be like to live in Italy, here are some thoughts and tips to make the transition easier.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 11, 2002
Prices: 6,000 for an hour
Hours: 10 am - 9:30 pm
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 28, 2001
The Net Gate Internet Cafe
Via dei Cimatori 17/r
Two things to know about salons in Italy: you don't make appointments and you pay for each service. My consultation was $5.00, the wash was $15.00, the cut $20.00. Highlights, or contrasti, are about $30.00 with a special conditioning treatment running you another $5.00. All in all, it cost me about the same, if not a little less than what I would have paid in New York.
Using my hands, an ad with Penelope Cruz (for color ideas), and very basic vocabulary terms, I ended up with a great cut and exactly the color I was looking for: honey.
T. Rinascimento Parucchiere
Via Santa Elisabetta 13/r
Attraction | "COIN Department Stores"
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 28, 2001
Via Calzaiuoli, 56r
Florence, Italy 50122
Attraction | "Bicycles in Italy"
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 17, 2001
Biking In Italy
Attraction | "Strollin' Florence Style"
Didn’t get all of your souveneir shopping done during the day? There are posters of famous Italian paintings or cityscapes, African art, fake Gucci bags and spray paint posters to buy.
Occasionally there are outdoor concerts in the Uffizzi walkway or Piazza della Signoria. Landmark caffes are open late, gelaterias aren’t.
Don’t walk around areas you aren’t familiar with by yourself and definitely avoid the Cascine Park at night, especially if you are a woman traveling alone.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 17, 2001
Attraction | "Mass at Santa Maria dei Fiori"
Pamphlets are available with the readings and prayers printed each week as you walk in so that foreigners can try to follow the mass, which is said in Italian. Be sure to dress properly: sneakers and jeans are permitted but short skirts and shorts, tanktops and sleeveless shirts are not.
I recommend going to the 10:30 mass, but arriving at 10 to listen to the priests chanting and to look up at the fresco of the Last Judgement on the interior of Brunelleschi¡¯s dome. Seating is available in the semi-circle surrounding the altar. At 10:30, right before mass begins, the Gregorian chanting ends with echoes and the ringing of the bells.
Mass at Santa Maria dei Fiori is held at 9, 10:30 and 12 am, with Gregorian chanting at 10.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 5, 2001
Santa Maria del Fiore & Baptistery (Il Duomo)
Piazza Del Duomo
Florence, Italy 50122
Inspired to create some art of your own? A great shop for supplies is the BATI Art Supply Store, located on Via Verdi, at the end of the more popular Borgo Albizi. Watercolors, oils, pastels, charcoal and colored pencils are displayed in a rainbow of shades as well as a variety of papers, brushes and other necessities for arts and crafts or a simple sketch. Prices are reasonable, with discounts for students.
Keeping a sketchbook, like a travel journal, is a great way to remember small details of your trip. In trying to recreate a favorite work of art or building, you’ll gain a new appreciation for the level of talent and expertise with which so many of Florence’s treasures were made. You can even upload your best sketches to your IgoUgo travel journal and share your creative expression with other guides.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 23, 2001
Pick Up a Pencil
BATI Art Supply Store
An even wider range of magazines, including many from the States and England, are on display relatively soon after printing. Italian Vogue, Elle, Glamour and Cosmopolitan, plus other international editions of fashion, architecture, gossip, home and design magazines, are worth the 8-10.000 liras if you want to be ahead of the styles back home.
Those interested in renting an apartment, finding a job or buying a used bicycle in Florence should purchase La Pulce for 2.500 liras. Published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, this is the source for all local advertising.
Italy Daily is a daily section of The International Herald Tribune that focuses on Italian news, travel, cultural events and food. Notebook, the back page, provides a list of museum exhibits and concerts in major Italian cities.
Dylan Dog and similar comic books are popular with both Italian youth and young adults. Dylan Dog is surprisingly philosophical; the series has had a sort of religious following for many years and are long enough to keep one entertained on a flight or train ride.
1. When paying for any publication, simply select what you want, bring it to the vendor and either hand him/her the total or place it on the plastic dish half-hidden among the magazines. You will take any change and a receipt from this dish as well. 2. All major headlines are printed on posters, then hung or displayed on boards near the kiosks. The name of the corresponding newspaper is also usually printed somewhere on the poster.
Another great feature of Italian mobiles is the ability to send written text to other phones instead of placing a call. This is much less expensive and sometimes quicker for getting your message across.
To add more time, i.e. money, to your phone, you’ll have to buy a rechargeable card from a tabaccheria (a store with a black T posted outside). The usual is a 50.000 card that gives you about 25 USD worth of time (can last up to a month) and is sold at 60.000 lire to accommodate those inevitable Italian taxes.
Goodbye= Ciao ciao ciao ciao
There are many laundromats in the big university towns, including Florence, and these usually take up less of your time and offer dryers.
What will you find? It varies. The main options are the usual apartments, studios, and then shared rooms either with a family or university students. Prices range from 600.000 lire to 3 million lire. I found an apartment on Via Ricasoli, with windows overlooking the duomo’s sculped pink and green walls, for 300 USD a month- a shared space with six Italian girls studying at the local university.
Be sure to ask whether spese (water, electricity and heat) are included or not. If living with a family, discuss things like use of the kitchen, washing machine, keys, visitors and curfews.
Local Real Estate Agencies
Via De¡¯ Pucci, 4
055-289-947 or 055-219191
Florence Real Estate Agency of Luca Gandelli
Piazza G. Salvemini, 7
Filaci Real Estate
Piazza Salvemini, 16r
055 23 44 447
Miet Wohn Zentrale Florence
Via Orti Oricellari, 10
This websiste is the only online resource for Americans interested in moving to Italy and is worth a visit just for the information on cutting through Italy’s red tape. It is geared more towards those living in Milan or Rome, with activities and meetings for expatriates in those cities.
Living, Studying and Working in Italy
By Travis Neighbor and Monica Larner
This is the bible, the book of all books, for anyone interested in making the move to Italy. You’ll find all the information you’ll need, along with addresses and phone numbers, for buying a house, finding a job, going to school, and just living here in general. Resources in the United States, as well as American companies with overseas offices, are listed as well as practical tips of what to avoid, expect and appreciate. A must-read.
by Luigi Barzini
Written in 1964, The Italians is still an invaluable peek into the consciousness of Italian culture and history. It gives a complete review of the basic aspects of Italian life, including the Church, the Mafia and the Family, as well as fascinating examples of major figures in Italian history and their role in perpetuating the sentiments of their times. If you want to know the Italians at all, start here.
Brooklyn, New York