Friday, October 1, 2010

October 1st in Florence

We have made it to October and been in Italy for 78 days now and only have 9 days left before we head off to London for 3 days then back to Brisbane, Australia on October 15.

It has been a fantastic experience to immerse ourselves in Florence (Firenze) and to "live" here for 3 months (of course it is different we did not have to go to work everyday). We have a wonderful apartment and would definitely stay here again, although moving to Florence is still an option. We met many people that are original Florentines' and many people who have moved here from all over the world.

The Tuscan lifestyle is very different to what we were used to, for instance many stores close between 12:30 - 17:00 and re-open until about 19:00. Yes you need to familiarise yourself with the 24 hour clock, quite often when someone invites you to dinner they will say "come at 20", there are however, the ones who have been around english speakers that have become accustomed to saying "come at 8", but they don't use AM or PM. All public transport is in 24 hour.

When we first arrived here in Florence there was a little culture shock (especially when we had to do our first grocery shop without our landlady). For instance when you buy fruit and vegetables at the supermarket you get a bag and a glove (don't pick up with your hand) pick up the fruit or vegetable put it in the bag and remember the number in the corner of the sign, then find the electronic scale. You then put your bag on the scale and press the screen for fruit or vegetable (make sure you remember that number from the sign above your item) then press the number, the scale will then give you a sticker with the price on it that you stick on the bag. The check out assistance do not do the weighing and calculating here, they just swipe items. They do not bag either, you ask for how many bags you would like and pay for them and bag you own items. If you plan on staying for a while I suggest purchasing the canvas shopping bags, it will save you money. Things definitely work differently here in Florence.

In saying all that, we have enjoyed and learned many things about living in a different country. Although we have not had the normal daily routines of work, school and paying taxes in Florence, we have been told by locals who have moved from the USA, UK, China, Australia and many other countries that it is possible to live here if you work at it. (like anything, I suppose).


Kirsty VI said...

Love reading qbout the every day stuff of life over there. funny thing about the time and the fruit....ahhhh the Italians...they are unique!

Kellie Christie said...

You really have made the most of your trip and it would be amazing to pack up everything and more there permanently.