Useful resources about life in Florence, Italy, focusing on the international community.
English speakers follow a straight line; Italians talk in circles. If you engage in intercultural communication on a daily basis, this is something you probably already know, but possibly have never thought about. So let’s think about it now, shall we? I’ll start by saying
I'd been recently hired by a Tuscan regional association whose goal was to provide youth services and career training to young Italians who wanted to become more desirable candidates for the international job market. During a workshop on writing resumes my student, Claudio, raised his hand to adamantly proclaim
The political scene is heating up here in Italy as the countdown begins for the 2006 elections. The convoluted debates, internal factioning, and heavy accusations, have already begun as candidates and their parties begin vying for voter’s support to win the next 5-year run as Prime Minister.
Italians, as a race, are fairly relaxed. They will not obsess about politically correct word choice or nit-pick about pseudo moral dilemmas. They have great capacity to put things in perspective and avoid unnecessary fuss. But there are some things that you cannot do in Italy. Some things that
There are many advantages to shopping in Italy. Everyone knows that for high quality and chic designer clothes this is the place to buy. Besides, you will almost always come away with more than you bargained for, at least culturally speaking. One morning of healthy Italian shopping will teach you
If you really want to make an Italian squirm, politely listen to what he has to say. Sit with your hands in your lap and nod attentively after each of his emphatic affirmations. For an Italian, there is no worse scenario. Why? Because Italians are fundamentally shy. “Siamo un
W hen gli Azzurri, the Italian National Football team, are together on the field, Italy’s citizens call themselves Italian. Other times they are veneziani, fiorentini, romani, o siciliani. Other times they walk their regional walk and talk their regional talk. But when those blue-shirted fellows step
Most people who have spent some time in Florence are aware of the existence of the U.S. Consulate here. Some may have even used it for official reasons; for reporting lost passports, obtaining visas for entry into the U.S., for voting abroad in U.S. elections, etc. Or,
Elena is twenty-five and has been for the past five years. She was born six years younger than her brother and I but stayed younger only until she learned to talk. We call those the good old days. Elena is what Italians call una pepperina. It means she has
It was Sunday afternoon and we were sitting around watching soccer. Actually, we were sitting around watching people watch soccer. “Quelli che il calcio, Those Who Soccer” is one of Italy’s best loved programs and an absolute bore. The real matches are only shown on cable
It’s day five of their education abroad adventure in Florence, and my students are worried. Overseas for the charm of glossy exported Italianness, most are shocked to discover that the Italians they’ve encountered in the bars, banks, and Benettons throughout the city are as expressive as
Bright and early on a May morning, somewhere in the Tuscan countryside, a little band of children is gathering. Along the country lanes, they knock at the door of every farmhouse and stand and sing their repertoire of May-time songs, all about cuckoos and spring flowers and boys and