This was a fun week for the Hash Family -- busy, but definitely super fun. We had our first meeting at Livia's asilo nido (daycare)...she starts on Monday! We are equal parts insanely excited (I don't remember what a full, uninterrupted work-day looks like) and really sad (you know, parental attachment issues and all). Here in Italy they do a fairly regimented acclimatization period for kids starting nido, so she won't be a full-timer until mid-October. I think it's an adjustment period for the parents, too.
This weekend we're heading out to Greve for the Chianti Wine Festival. I'm so excited. Greve and the nearby countryside are pretty much my favorite part of Tuscany, so pair that with copious amounts of wine and I'm a happy girl. Plus, it's going to be hot in the city on Saturday, so escaping to the countryside will give us about 5 degrees of relief, which is a big deal!
My friend Georgette has a great post today on how to make friends in Florence. It's full of helpful information for the newly-arrived that are looking to meet new people. Her list of social/networking groups, in particular, is awesome. If you are planning a move here or looking for ways to meet new people you need to see that list.
If I were to add my own general tip for expats to her list I would say this -- which has been the #1 thing in my own life that has expanded my social circle: share your friends. When I first arrived Georgette was the very first person that I met. She introduced me to a few people that became good friends. Over the past few years I've met some amazing people that I've introduced to her. I've made and shared other friends the same way with other people in town.
Being an expat doesn't guarantee that you'll love everyone you meet, but one of the first things that goes through my mind when I meet someone new is "Who else is going to love this person?" Everyone here is far from home and your friends become your family. People are always coming and going. Whenever I have the opportunity to connect with someone or be connector I take it. That is my top advice for expats. Share your friends.