Life Lately (According to the iPhone)

It's been a busy week here. Busy takes on a whole new meaning with little Livia in the house now! We're working on a lot of fun projects that we'll be sharing soon on the business blog. We'll probably be working through the weekend (boo), but it's to help out on the workload while we're away in the United States in a few weeks.

We're still trying to find a place to board Winston. Any recommendations from folks out there on the interwebs? I'd love to find a nice puppy pensione for him.

Italy Expat FAQ: Apartment Hunting


Question: Do you still live in the same apartment that we saw on House Hunters International? How did you find it? Yup, we're still here! We've been in this wonderful apartment since January 2011 and don't have any plans to leave in the near future. It really is a great apartment at a great price (and we have a good landlord).

We were actually already living in this apartment when we filmed the House Hunter's episode. We found this place two months before the actual move when we came over the for a 5-day apartment-hunting trip. We saw three places during that trip and this was our clear favorite. We strongly considered one a little further out of the city -- and I think we could have been happy there -- but in the end this one was best for us.

About two weeks before our apartment-hunting trip we contacted a few agencies with listings that I had found on One agency was particularly responsive so we went with them. Between our broken Italian and our agent's broken English we were able to navigate the system. The apartment-hunting trip was an extremely valuable experience for us. Because we were actually moving here -- as opposed to coming on a long holiday -- we wanted to see potential apartments in person and not rent something sight-unseen. I also felt like we avoided some of the stereotypical "holiday rentals" that are really high-priced in a city like Florence going that route.

That being said, holiday rentals through an agency can be a really good option for folks that can't make it over before their move OR that have the budget to rent these slightly higher cost (but typically nicer/better amenity) apartments.

P.S. To get the image for this post I rewatched our House Hunters episode for the first time in a year and basically giggled through the entire thing. The best part? The ridiculous city "map" of Florence that is completely wrong.

Our Two Year Itali-versary

itali-versaryIt's hard to believe but on January 25th two years ago we were writing a post about our very first week in Italy. The time has flown by -- it really is hard to believe that it's been two years already!

Can you believe that we also haven't been back to the good 'ol U S of A in two years either? We are long overdue for a visit and will be returning for a 10 day visit next month. We already can't stop talking about Mexican food, Bruce Springsteen and Target. There will be lots of reverse culture shock, but we've made the decision to embrace all of the wonderfulness that America has to offer.

If you happen to be planning a trip to Florence in late February and are looking for a place to stay, contact us, as our apartment will be available to rent for ten days.

Italy Expat FAQ: Why Do You Stay in Italy?

IMG_6824 As we were redesigning the blog and updating everything for the digital relocation I naturally ended up reading a lot of our old posts. This happens usually happens by accident every 8-9 months or so and it's a total trip to read some of the really old posts, especially the very first one.

Pretty early on I wrote a post called Why Are You Moving to Italy? In it, I attempted (very briefly) to answer the question. At the time, it was a question that were heard every day, numerous times per day. For this week's Italy Expat FAQ post, I'd love to address a new question we hear a lot: Why do you stay in Italy?

When we first moved to Florence we had no idea how long we would be here for. We mentally prepared ourselves for anything as short as 6 months or as long as forever. We never pressured ourselves one way or another. We had numerous talks before the move about how it would be ok if we didn't like living here. All to often I think people are afraid to admit that they've made a bad decision and stick with something for way to long. We didn't/don't want to be like that. If we didn't like it here, so what? On to the next thing. As such, we have a "do we stay or do we go" conversation every couple months. So far the decision has, obviously, been to stay!

So, why do we stay? Italy just fits. For us. Right now. That's the long and short of it folks. The lifestyle we have here in Florece just works for us at the moment. We knew there was a big chance when Livia came along that we might need a change, but it hasn't happened (yet). We are floating along quite nicely over here.

I'd be interested to hear from some of our expat friends that read this blog. Why do you stay (in Italy, or wherever you may be that's not "home")?