There are many ways to experience Florence, but none are more privileged than interning at The Florentine. From their small but incredibly creative office, The Florentine team are always hard at work creating content and finding news for their community. Being among them meant there were amazing memories around every corner.
Working here, you see Florence from many perspectives. Of course, I had seen the city already from the perspective of a tourist, as so many of us have. Rushing around, forcing my way through crowds, squeezing in as many famous sights as possible. I’ve learned that there is so much more to life here.
I got to look through the eyes of expats who were making a big move in pursuit of the life of their dreams. I got to see the city through artists, revelling in the artistic heritage and sketching the beauty found in quiet moments on small backstreets. I saw it from a priest’s point of view, trying to create community in an ever-changing city, working hard in the name of God. I saw it through the eyes of businesses, some well-established and some just starting out, but all hoping to find success in the busy and competitive city. From authors, museum directors and academics to teachers and chefs and artisans, I got to experience the diversity and depth of the perspectives and lives here in a way that so many people never get to explore.
It seems that here in Florence, there are things happening all the time. I had the opportunity to really get involved, and to learn about Italian and Florentine culture, immersing myself in the food and the wine and the history. I got to be present for big historical moments, like the Italian rugby team beating Australia for the first time, and smaller ones, such as the lighting of the Christmas tree in piazza del Duomo, though the little ones felt no less important. Getting to be there for the opening of exhibitions and the unveiling of restorations was a great joy, as was being able to write about them afterwards, sharing the news with everyone.
I think that is the most important thing: The Florentine is a community. In the pages of each issue, in every social media post, in every article online, the voices and experiences of the people of Florence really shine through. There are opportunities to connect, to come together and to truly love this city and the chances it gives us. So, the most important insight I have been given in my time as an intern is how lucky Florence is to have a magazine like The Florentine. The team that creates the magazine and the readers who support it are the most wonderful community, and it has been a joy to be a part of, even in a small way.