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Useful resources about life in Florence, Italy, focusing on the international community.

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‘Gli Italiani parlano con le mani’

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

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‘Anche il calcio dev’essere bello’

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

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‘Gente Simpatica’

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

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June in tuscany

June is a magical month in Tuscany.  The nights are alive with a thousand noises, lights, and scents.  This atmosphere is well caught in the Pfeiffer-Everett film of A Midsummer Night?s Dream, shot in Italy.  June is the month of midsummer, when Tuscan days are

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Everybody outdoors

If you are anything like me you will have taken a look through your Florence guidebook on the flight over. Trying to be ‘good,’ I start with the section about the history of the city, but eventually the temptation to skip straight to the section on shopping or

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‘Raccomandato’,

Some say that to get a good cup of coffee in Italy, you need to be friends with the barman. It is also said that to get hired in this country you have to be friends with the boss. Well, maybe you don’t have to be friends exactly,

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‘La Familiarit’

If you want to be successful in Italy, get yourself a newsagent. Mine is called Matteo. He sells papers, but his news is free because he sees it as his duty to tell you everything you need to know. Should you try the new trattoria in Porta Romana? Should you

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‘La vergogna’,

It was martedì grasso, fat Tuesday, and there we sat, thinking of how good we would have to be over the next forty days. My aunt Donata had made fritelle, deep-fried fritters with pine nuts and candied fruit, that come from two weeks of the old people nagging

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‘Un colpo d’aria’

Homeopathic doctors will tell you that illness starts as a psychological issue and has to do with your state of mind. Not only. It also has to do with the ...

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May in Tuscany

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

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In bocca al lupo

In Italy, it is good luck to touch iron. Knocking on wood will do nothing for you. It is also good luck to touch the hump of a hunchback or ...

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‘Anche l’occhio vuole la sua parte’

For three years, I had the good fortune of living with two Italian painters. This is relevant to me, mostly because when it was my turn to make a meal, I always got painter-related commentary. They never told me how good or bad my food tasted. Instead, they’

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Non te la prendere: offending with affection

The language to get to grips with for long-term living in Italy.

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Italian street numbering

The often confusing letters and numbers spotted on streets in Italy are made clear(er) with this handy explanation.

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First public hospital for dental care opens at villa Margherita

The centre is a true revolution for dental care in Italy, guaranteeing improved services for dental health.

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Fr. Kramer Cameron: a chat with Florence’s Canadian priest

Fr. Kramer Cameron is a priest for the English-speaking community in Florence based at the Romanesque church of Santi Apostoli.

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