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This is Thirty – Day 2 – December in the City

The Sunday after a holiday in Florence means the center is packed with Italians and the outskirts are a ghost town. We wanted to see the tree lit in Piazza Duomo and saw that there was another fair in Piazza Annunziata so decided to head in for lunch. Plus, Luna needs...

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This is Thirty – An International Outlook

After an entirely lovely 30th birthday yesterday, I’m starting a new project on this page that’ll last for the next 365 days and will hopefully entertain you as much as it will me.  First, thank you for all of the birthday wishes! The day was spent well with too much...

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Hiking in Italy – Autumn in the Hills of Florence

The meeting point is at a Pasticceria and on a Sunday morning, a flourish of humid chaos breathes out of the building as we open the front door and walk into the cacophony of trilled calls for caffè and brioche, espressos clattering on white marble counters. The register rings constantly and the air is heavy with voices over the roar of the coffee grinder – neighbors meeting up for their morning cappuccinos – children run through the tables or climb into grandparents’ laps. A group of young girls in the corner bursts into fits of laughter. Two older women sit by the window – seemingly friends for ages, chatting every so often between watching the dance of this place as they sit dressed better than I’ll ever be – with pearl necklaces and perfect pin curls.

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My Personal Italy Itineraries

Here’s to the days that I walk into treasure chests & remember not to get too jaded while living in this fairytale city. — at Cappelle Medicee In October, Florence is churning out the harvest and hunkering down for winter - with heartier dishes in the restaurants and...

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Learning Italian from Life Instead of a Textbook

I have sat in so many places with teachers telling me that this is what I need to do. Sit, listen, repeat. Io vado - I go, Tu vai- you go And I’d sit there with these lists of conjugations that frighteningly err on the side of math instead of language and I’d repeat...

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Words that I thought of today…

I've been quiet because another part of my life has now been tainted with that dark black smoke of grief that slithers in when you least expect it and leaves you breathless, coughing, and the dust of it settles over everything for so long it just seems to become part...

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Language Lessons with a Two Year Old

Every Wednesday afternoon for the past few months, I've ridden my bike from my house down to Piazza San Marco - famous in Florence for being a bus hub and where the mayor cut down all of the trees last year (because they were "dangerous") and made Florentines...

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Just Breathe

"Just breathe," he says as he gestures around the coffee shop in pure Italian fashion - as if to say "Look around at where we are, what is there to stress about?" I was interviewing a local expat for an article in International Living, and we were talking about that...

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Living in Tourism

Rami and I used to live righttt in the center of Florence. Our building was over 800 years old and if you looked left out of our windows, the street led straight to the Duomo. It was beautiful living in the center of one of the most famous cities in the world. When...

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Deadlines, Perfectionism, and Michelangelo

When I was younger I would be so excited about projects in school. I’d immediately start envisioning how I would create my masterpiece. I’d see myself striding into the classroom weeks later holding my work - complete with moveable parts or stunning paintings,...

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