Tuscan Feeling Blog

Tag Archives: Expat In Florence

Expat in Florence? Tips and tricks for those who want to relocate in Florence and live happy. Lesson 2: The best resources online for an expat in Florence.

American Flag on Palazzo Vecchio

American Flag on Palazzo Vecchio

Are you in Florence for working, studying, tourism or love, and never been here before? Do you miss home?
Ok, we know very well, that you could feel lonely and nostalgic. You only need to find some resources to be able to enter into the life of Florence in the main door.

As Tuscan Feeling we operate since 18 years with people from all over the world, helping them to relocate in Florence and find the perfect apartment to live. We met many people, during the years, and we had the chance to talk with them during a critical point of their life. With many of them, we became friends and we were lucky enough to compare ourselves with their personal life experiences in Florence. Somehow, we at Tuscan Feeling, with our work, we have always had the chance to see our city in a different way.

That’s why, we would like to suggest you some important international resources for people who are expat in Florence or just are wishing to expatriate here.

1) The British Institute of Florence. A real institution since 1917. The Institute promote cultural exchange between Italy and the English-speaking world. They have a strong weekly cultural programme and public tea held every thursday, that is a sort of meeting point for expats. The British Institute offers many courses of italian language and culture, as well specific courses about history of art.

2) The Florentine Magazine. It’s the one and lonely English language news magazine. It is a monthly printed free-press. You can find here English-friendly events listing, jobs, as well as services and friendships. The Florentine organizes monthly events.

3) Living in Florence. Melinda Gallo is blogger and a dear Tuscan Feeling’s friend. She blogs about her life in Florence, since she moved here in 2004, and share her thoughts and feelings about Florence. Living in Florence is a good blog for finding discovering Florence from the expat’s side.

4) Firenze Moms 4 Moms. Dedicated to all the expat moms! Here you can find all the info about life with kids in Italy. It has also a strong presence on Facebook and it is a good starting point for knowing more about public and private schools, events, finding babysitters and talk about kids’ problems.

5) Internations. A members-only expat community that holds events, on regular basis, in Florence. InterNations offers global networking opportunities, local events and expat-relevant information. Keep attention! To ensure the quality of their network, InterNations membership is by their admins’ approval only.

6) Girl in Florence. Georgette is an american expat in Florence and a blogger. She defines herself as: ‘A curious American digital marketing strategist, Freelance writer and a certifiable ‘Tuscan Texan’ living and breathing all things Florence’. She blogs about scooting around Europe & Italy and sharing local spots I love. Georgette’s blog is a great resource of informations for expats.

If you want an apartment for feeling at home in Florence, Tuscan Feeling Long & Short Term Rentals suggests you the following accomodations for rent:

Apt. LECCIO – 45 m2 – 4th floor (without elevator) – for 2 persons

LECCIO

Leccio Apartment

Apt. BORGO SANTA – 55 m2 – 1st floor (without elevator) – for 2 persons

BORGO SANTA

Borgo Santa Apartment

Apt. NOVELLO – 85 sqm – Ground Floor Mezzanine (no elevator) – for 3 people

NOVELLO

Novello Apartment

Street Food in Florence. A great idea to have a snack as they should.

Schiacciata

Schiacciata in Florence.

Street food in Florence? What a wonderful idea! It is the best choice for a lunch, a fast snack or something to eat at night, after a show! Whatever you like and whereever you are, it is always a great idea. It is faster and cheaper than a lunch at the restaurant, and the italian street food hides the true flavors and the very essence of a every town. In Italy we have a real tradition of street food. Living in the centre of Florence in one of our apartments, it is the best way to experiment the florentine street food.

The ‘schiacciata’ it’s a thin baked bread, seasoned with olive oil and salt. Before putting it in the oven, it compresses the dough with fingers in some places, to create the characteristic “holes” on the top. It is probably the most famous snack in Florence. Children love them and florentine all usually grow up eating schiacciata for snack. If you are around the Uffizi Gallery, you have to try the ‘schiacciata’ in a place called All’Antico Vinaio, in De’ Neri Street. It is an historical shop and in 2013 won the Trip Advisor prize for the best street food in town. It is a small and crowdy placel. Here you find many different quality of schiacciata, filled with ham, salami, pecorino cheese, aubergines, souces, artichoke cream or mozzarella. Of course, you can eat your schiacciata with a tasty glass of wine. The place is really cheap and nice, the quality is good, but it is really touristic. Few florentines stop here.

If you want to eat ‘schiacciata’, Pugi Bakery Shop is a real must in Florence. The place opened in 1925 and it has 3 different stores: in S. Marco Square, San Gallo Street and Orsini Street. Pugi’s schiacciata is golden and crisp. Florentines loves to eat it simple, with no filling, but you can also have it filled with ham, mortadella, cheese or salami. You can find here take away pizza, cakes and sweeties. During Easter and Carnival you can find also some tipical florentine sweets as ‘cenci’, ‘frittelle di riso’, ‘schiacciata con l’uva’ and ‘pan di ramerino’.

Another nice place to eat street food is I Due Fratellini. It opened in 1875 in Via de Cimatori since 1875, but in recent times it was bought and managed b two brothers, Armando and Michele Perrini. The place is really small and clients are used to eat outside the door. They are specialist in preparing really Tuscan sandwiches: ham, goat cheese, green sauce, wild boar sausage, raw sausage, eggplant and marinated bacon specialties. The menu features a number of proposals ready to eat, but you can also combine the ingredients according to your fantasy. Behind the counter are wooden shelves filled with bottles of wine, the perfect accompaniment to the sandwich. Panini are cheap and the quality is superb.

Lampredotto in Florence.

Lampredotto

If you want to eat the real Florentine street food you have to taste the tipical sandwich with the lamprey, the famous ‘lampredotto, a real institution in town. All the kiosks you can find in town are well known and reputable. Near St. Ambrogio market you will find Sergio and Pier Paolo‘s lamprey kiosk in Via de’ Macci. Another great place is the lamprey kiosk in Via Gioberti. where you can taste lamprey in different versions: in inzimino or with baked beans, potatoes or artichokes. nd the city. How about you come up a bit ‘of hunger?

If you want an apartment in the heart of Florence, www.tuscanfeeling.com suggests you the following accomodations for rent:

Apt. VINCENT – 65 m² – 4 people (without elevator) – 2nd floor

Apartment Vincent

www.tuscanfeeling.com

Apt. LORENZO – 80 m2 – 2nd floor (without elevator) – for 3 persons

Apartment San Lorenzo

www.tuscanfeeling.com

Expat in Florence? Tips and tricks for those who want to relocate in Florence and live happy. Lesson 1: finding an apartment and learning italian.

www.tuscanfeeling.com

Your house in Florence!

For an expat in Florence, learning Italian is not a matter of life or death. You can live the every day life – grocery shopping for example – just knowing a few words of Italian. However, learn Italian properly, will help you feel at home and be able to face any kind of argument with your new Florentines friends, colleagues or neighbors. A good acquaintances of the Italian language, however, will be useful for facing directly the italian bureaucracy.
Learning italian will be easy for you, living in Florence, just a process of trial and error. So don’t be shy and start using your italian in your every day life!
Anyway, you can attend local schools or having a private teacher, but the best is that you improve your italian every day, in your own life. If you are planning to attend a school, we suggest you: the British Institute, Istituto il David or Linguaviva School.
Once you have learned the Italian language, you will be fully master of your life: you can open buy your own a bank account, read a contract, discuss with a lawyer, read a book or simply chat with friends. You will not depend from other expats in Florence anymore. This will prevent you from having only expat friends and from isolating yourself.
Probably, as many other expats, you will pass through different stages of ‘culture shock’. From an emotional start of full loving for the city to a growing irritation or anger for your new country. It is a common feeling and something that you have to pass by. Everything is connected to your ability in learning italian and start friendships with local people. The more you can express freely with new friends, the more you will feel at home. Anyway, if you are american, canadian, australian english, indian, african, chinese or japanese, you don’t have to embrace the italian style of life in a non critical way. If you love to have a large american breakfast in the morning, you don’t have to eat just a cappuccino and small brioche! Learning italian properly and preserve your roots, will help you to have a good psychological balance.

While in Florence is difficult for an expat to be hired by someone, it is equally true that it is the right city to start their own start-ups. Florence is an international city, attention to culture and to the new initiatives. In Florence, tourism and trade are two fields that produce huge revenues. If you have the right idea, you can do it here. Florence could be not properly cheap for you. Many expat are surprised from the cost of italian utilities (gas, electricity and water), as well from the cost of trains and bus. In another hand, food is fine and cheap. Restaurants are at an affordable price. Fashion shopping in Florence is something that you can become and addict for, but it is not cheap. Taxes in Italy are really high, but health care is cheap and in Florence is a first quality service. As one of the most important italian town, Florence has modern infrastructure systems.

Florence is a town manageable to explore easily on foot. You will discover a large number of public green spaces, as well as stunning architecture. In any case, we suggest you to buy a bicycle. It is the easier and cheaper way to go around town, because Florence has a large and ever growing network of cycle paths.

Even before the language and other useful things, an expat in Florence has to worry about having a place to live. Finding a place to live is a priority when settling in town.
Finding a house in Florence could not be easy, if you need to stay for a long term stay. You have to consider many important factors: cost, location, different house features, transportation, brightness, utilities, furniture. A good tip, if you are renting directly from an owner, if you are looking for a long term stay, might be to take an apartment for one month, to see in person the long term choice.

Renting directly from owners means pros an cons. It should be cheap, but often it is not. Owners are not interest in their house reputation, they overvalue their homes and sometimes they manage people in horrible ways. When troubles happen, some owners have a unacceptable resolution times.

An international Real Estate Agency, as Tuscan Feeling, give great attention to its reputation with clients. We usually help our clients to find the best place at the more affordable price according to their needs. We can provide a fast service as we are at your disposal every day at every time (for any kind of real troubles), via phone, email or in person. The price of an apartment changes very much depending on lenght of stay, and quality of apartment. Take a look at our website for having an idea of what we can offer you or just read our blog for learning more about our policy and way of working.

Renting long term will force the owner to register the contract. This means that when you are in Florence you’ll need to get a codice fiscale, kind of social security number that neds to be part of the rental contract. Apart from that, only a copy of your passport is needed. The codice fiscale is mandatory for working, having a bank account and healthcare. We can help you to get it for an extra price.

Apt. PAULA – 55sqm – 1st floor (without elevator) – for 2 persons

Apt. Paula's living room and kitchen

www.tuscanfeeling.com

Apt. LORENZO – 80 m2 – 2nd floor – for 3 persons

Lorenzo Apartment

Lorenzo Apartment

Apt. LA PACE – 75 sqm – 2nd floor (without elevator) – for 2 persons

La Pace apartment

www.tuscanfeeling.com

A concise guide for renting a student apartment in Florence.

Tuscan Feeling's website opening page

www.tuscanfeeling.com

Why a student have to choose an apartment in Florence instead to live in hotel or in other places?

An apartment, provides you a different quality of life for your stay in Florence. You will find yourself hanging around in local markets buying your own bread, zucchini, tomatoes, salami or pecorino cheese. You will have the chance to buy and taste some exclusive bottle of wines with your friends and cook for them your own meals.
You will have all the room you need for studying, designing, painting or just relaxing yourself. The most important thing of all is to choose the right apartment for you.

The first thing most students get wrong, about renting an apartment in Italy, is they assume – wrongly – they can only rent one by the month. It is totally wrong. Tuscan Feeling, as many other international real estate companies, can provide you a long term rental, as long as you need.

Tuscan Feeling rent apartment on yearly or monthly basis. You can also rent apartments by the week, or even for just three nights.

Of course, apartments are rented at different nightly, weekly, and monthly rates, which vary by the quality of the apartment and the furnishing, the number of rooms and people, and the area of Florence where the apartment is. Everything is well indicated in every page of our website relating to each individual apartment.

In addition to technical data, related to the apartment (square meter, price, number of beds), Tuscan Feeling pays special attention to the completeness of the individual descriptions of the apartments. The descriptions, in fact, are the result of our thoughts and observations, after our careful examination visit. In them, you will find the strengths and weaknesses of each apartment, including the number of steps to climb (in the absence of a lift), the exact number of plans and a precise description of the appliances in your home.

We dedicate also much space to the description of the area and places of interest in the vicinity of each apartment. On each page, they are also shown useful places for the life of every day, such as proximity to banks, pharmacies, hospitals, small grocery stores, fruit and vegetable markets, or large supermarkets.

Comparing apartments by our site, it is not impossible, but we suggest you to ask in advance our offers. We could provide you a long list of free apartments, also showing you new entries at affordable prices.
Students are used to send us their request specifying budget and the school they are going to be part. Don’t forget to tell us you what are your real needs, and what you like and dislike. Our goal is to have satisfied clients.

Each apartment’s page on our website are with several pictures. Unlike what usually can be seen on the world wide web, we do not use a professional photographer who embellish the apartments that we propose you.
Our policy is to take pictures when we visit the apartments and to catch, in our experience, the important aspects. Our goal is to provide our customers a portfolio with realistic images, without filters, without wide-angle objectives, lighting installation and photoshop treatments.

We have now lost count of the times in which our customers have told us that the apartment is much nicer than they had imagined, looking at our photos.
For us, as long experienced real estate agents, it is a real great compliment. As amateur photographers, however, it forces us to improve our technique yet!
Tuscan Feeling provides you a professional service. We will send you a contract in english and italian in advance, just for you to know all the rental terms.
A deposit (or caparra) will usually be necessary to hold your reservation. The amount depends from the kind of rentals you have chosen. It is clearly indicated in the apartment page as well as all the additional costs. Long term rental contracts in Italy, usually, doesn’t comprise the utilities: gas, water and electricity, and the final cleaning fee.
The price of the utilities (as well as the final cleaning fee) is also indicated in the rental contract that we will send you in advance. All the utilities, as well as the rental fee, should be paid month per month. WiFi is usually an extra cost and should be asked in advance, for being sure that you can Skype with your parents (or your boy/girlfriend!) as well as you enter in your florentine apartment!
We also ask you to pay a deposit against potential damages. The money will be refunded when you check out. In the contract, you will also can read our cancellation policy.

At the moment of your check in a representative will usually meet you at the front door of the apartment, at a prearranged time according to your travel plan. Be sure to give us a working mobile phone number in Italy and, please, leave it on when you are in Florence!

He or she will lead you to the flat, show you which keys fit which locks, location of the fuse box, where are all the central controls for heating, gas, electricity, water, A/C. For avoiding any kind of problem we will provide in advance a local number to call if you have questions.
Most kitchens come fully equipped, but there are diffences between apartments. So check our website, to be sure that your apartment has dishwater, washing machine, oven or microwave. Towels and linens are provided, but maid service is an extra cost to ask in advance. Remember: You’re living like a local, which includes taking out the trash and recycling. Your host will show how and when you have to do that.

So, live like the locals and rent your own flat in Florence – it will likely be as cheap as (if not cheaper than) a hotel, plus will get you a kitchen and the other amenities of everyday life!

Here you find some suggestions for your stay in Florence:

Apt. S. APOSTOLI – 35sqm – 3rd floor (without elevator) – for 2 persons

Apt. S. Apostoli terrace

www.tuscanfeeling.com

Apt. AMETISTA – 70sqm – 1st floor (without elevator) – for 2 persons

Apt. Ametista's living room

www.tuscanfeeling.com

Apt. PAULA – 55sqm – 1st floor (without elevator) – for 2 persons

Apt. Paula's living room and kitchen

www.tuscanfeeling.com