From cypress trees to renaissance palaces; olive groves to winding roads. Michelangelo, Leonardo and Raphael have all wondered these streets and the city still boasts the signs and symbols of a time that was. But what happens now? What has become of one of the western worlds most important historical cities?
For many of us, Florence has become our home. We have all chosen to live here for different reasons, but for all of us our first reason was love. Yes, I know what your thinking – an Italian man, but your only half right- first it was the love of the city, Florence, Firenze. We come to study various subjects from art to wine to politics (oh and let me tell you, the Italians have some very colorful politics) and realized just how much we all love Florence. Now sure some of us have found handsome Italians along the way, but more importantly we have all found a sense of comfort and familiarity in the tiny cobble stone roads of the historic center or the olive tree lined hills of the Tuscan countryside. But what happens when the beauty and romance of this amazing city is no longer enough? Real life, that’s what.
Now don’t get me wrong, we all have the option of picking up and moving back to our home countries, but we don’t. Why? Because at the end of the day we all still love our city. But the reality is that life is life wherever you go. We still have bills to pay, housing to find, jobs to search for, and bureaucracy to deal with. We don’t wake up each morning in our villa under the Tuscan sun or in our apartments overlooking the Arno river- no we actually work very hard here to support ourselves and compete with a difficult and limited job, market, dating scene and housing market.
Now please don’t get discouraged, I don’t want to burst your romantic bubble, but I also don’t want you to get the wrong idea about life it Italy. It is not always La Bella Vita.
It is also important to realize for those of you that are planning to, or may have already, that studying in Florence and living in Florence are two completely different things. So what I will attempt to do though this blog is answer all of your questions about the amazing city of Florence from a realistic point of view; objectively, truthfully, and candidly for those of you that plan to study here for a while or for those of you that are just passing through.
Please do keep in mind that any critique or criticism made on the city is made with love and affection as I realize that nothing and nowhere is perfect, but I know that there are improvements that can be made to better the city. In the end it is wonderful to live here and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.