Saturday, June 30, 2007

Living in Florence :: An inter-religious dialogue

It wasn't until I was waiting for my girlfriend in front of Saschall that I realized that I don't often go to an event outside of centro (downtown). I felt like the girls in that Sex and the City episode when they took the ferry out of town to go to a party. It's not that far out of centro, but it's not that close where I could walk to it either. My friend had to take a bus to get there while Alessandro's father drove me since I had lunch at their house, which wasn't too far away.

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Living in Florence :: Star sighting in Florence

As someone who lives in Florence, I actually end up not noticing the tourists much. I see large groups of people walking down the street or stopping to look up at something, and I go around them. I don't generally look at them that closely; however, I do notice the locals in Florence instead for some reason. I can always recognize someone who works in a shop or goes to my palestra (gym) when I'm in centro (downtown).

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Living in Florence :: One beautiful, but busy piazza

My piazza isn't normally that busy, but this morning when I looked out from the terrazza (terrace) I saw a bunch of actors sitting on the steps in front of the Ospedale degli Innocenti all dressed up. It was raining a little bit, so it looked like they were waiting it out. Later in the afternoon when I had to go out, I took this picture from the first floor window of my building.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Alessandro's car is in the shop again and so a friend of his loaned him his motorino (scooter). I rode on the back of the motorino to go to the movies at Warner Village on Friday. It's been fairly hot in centro (downtown), but once we were out past Le Cascine, the air seemed to be much cooler. It was refreshing until we had to drive back to town because my teeth were chattering.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

After many discussions, I have finally signed my contratto di locazione (rental contract) with my new landlord yesterday at my place. I didn't invite my agente immobiliare (real estate agent) because of what happened the last time with the contratto di locazione that I signed.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sometimes two months seems like a short time, but then they seem like quite a long time. A lot of things have transpired in the two months since Dave and I split up. He went back to the States, found freelance work as a Cocoa programmer, moved into a new apartment in downtown Denver, and reunited with his friends and family.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

I don't know what it is about Mondays, but the past few Mondays haven't been the best days of the week for me. Today, I went back to the Camera di Commercio (Chamber of Commerce) to see if the avvocato (lawyer) had anything else to tell me about my contratto di locazione (rental agreement), and I wasn't happy with what he had to say.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Surprisingly, I had never been to a sagra (festival) before in Italy. I have seen the manifesti (posters) up all over town in the summer announcing them throughout Tuscany. I've noticed that a sagra is for a specific type of food, like the one I went to on Saturday that was a sagra del cinghiale (wild boar festival). So, most of the dishes served were made with cinghiale.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Living in Florence :: My first big interview

I couldn't sleep well last night as I was a little nervous about an interview that I was asked to do with a freelance journalist, Greg Cook, for UK's leading travel and overseas living magazine called A Place in the Sun. He told me that he'd be bringing his own photographer, Richard Parsons, and that made me even more nervous.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

I went to the Camera di Commercio (Chamber of Commerce) this morning to see another friend's friend who works in the Ufficio arbitrato (Arbitration office) to have a look at my contratto di locazione (rental agreement) that I signed for my current apartment. I was told that it's not legal to not have a disdetta (notice to leave) on it and that quite possibly, it might be null and void.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I have a valid permesso di soggiorno (permit to stay) and want to change it to another type: lavoro autonomo (self-employment). I had been reading about the decreto flussi (quota agreement) and how supposedly in Florence, they only allow about 80 Americans to convert their permessi di soggiorno per year. The problem is that no one knows when the decreto flussi will be published, not even the ufficcio dell'immigrazione (immigration office).

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Living in Florence :: Walking along the Arno

Today I had to go to the American Consulate to get a document notarized. I took the bus to via della Vigna Nuova and walked along the Arno. I usually always walk, but one day I took the number 6 bus and it went down via della Vigna Nuova, so I figured it'd be more convenient to take it. Unfortunately, there were a few manifestazioni (manifestations) in town and the bus was late. I waited at least 20 minutes for it to come, and in that time, I probably could've walked to the American Consulate.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Today I went to see my dottoressa (doctor) again to ask her a few questions. I arrived at the door of her studio (office) and there was alreaady a couple waiting outside. The women I walked past downstairs were waiting as well to see the dottoressa. A blonde woman asked each of us, "Quando è il suo appuntamento?" (When is your appointment?) After we all responded, the blonde woman told us the order in which we will see the dottoressa. I ended up being the second to the last before the blonde woman.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

I have had the pleasure of meeting more girls lately who have moved to Florence and want to stay. It seems to be the usual story: the person arrives in Florence for a short time, falls in love with the city, and can't leave it. Florence seems to just take a hold of our hearts and souls and we become obsessed with staying here. I know because that's what happened to me the first time I arrived in 1997. I think it took me about three or four days before I knew I did not want to leave.

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Saturday, June 9, 2007

Tonight I went with a few Florentine friends to Le Carceri for dinner. Supposedly the giocatori della Fiorentina (players on the Florentine soccer team) go there. The locale (restaurant/place) is located in an ex-prison just off of via dell'Agnolo.

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Thursday, June 7, 2007

Living in Florence :: Una grandinata estiva

We've had a rather dry and mild winter this year. It was so dry that people were talking about rationing water to the point of having it be turned off at certain times of the day. But, today that might have all changed as it rained and hailed for many hours. I tried to show how hard and vertical the rain and hail were falling in my picture of the buildings across the street, but it might not be that clear.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2007

My new ginecologa (gynecologist) gave me a stack of esami (tests) to do because I am new to her and she said that I need to check everything to make sure everything is OK. I'm assuming she was referring to my age again, but I agree that if I haven't done a major check-up, I probably should.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Living in Florence :: Simone's simulation cooking class

I have told Simone for many years that he needs to do lezioni di cucina (cooking classes). First, because he's an exceptional chef and second, because I wanted to learn more about Tuscan cooking and find out his secrets. We decided last week when he came to my place for lunch that we were going to organize a lezione di cucina at his apartment with a few people. I invited two of my girlfriends (Sarah and Haruko) and he invited a girl visiting from Belgium, Margherita.

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Sunday, June 3, 2007

Today was one of those days I have to write about so that even I can look back on more than once. From start to finish, it was a spectacular day. I met up with Emma Bird and Mario Berri from How To Italy because they were in the area for a conference. I took them too Gilli for a caffè (coffee) in Piazza Repubblica.

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Friday, June 1, 2007

Living in Florence :: Che spettacolo!

I walked over to via delle Oche to have lunch with my new girlfriend. She wanted to take me to Coquinarius, which I like a lot. Afterwards, she invited me up to her apartment. I love seeing other people's apartments especially since I feel as if I've seen so many now. I was taken aback when I walked into the living room: the Duomo was so close that I couldn't see it all unless I walked out to her her balcone (balcony). I had never seen the Duomo this close before except when I went up the campanile (bell tower).

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