I chose the name FlorenGina not only because it states the obvious: my name and location. Nor did I chose it just because it has a nice ring to it, or that English and Italian speakers can pronounce it (yay), or because it sounds a lot like “fiorentina” which is the Italian word for a female from Florence and also the proud local soccer team (forza Viola!). I chose it because Florentia is Florence’s Latin name, meaning “flourishing.” That’s what this blog is all about. How I, Gina, am flourishing in Florence and the surroundings I find myself in.
Despite my very Italian name, I’m very Canadian. But did end up marrying a very Italian fellow, Alessio.
I’m blessed to be with my “principe azzurro” (prince charming). He’s half Tuscan, half Sicilian, so that makes for a very interesting mix. He’s admittedly not your “typical Italian” in many ways (phew!) but…he has his very Italian moments. He was born and raised in Florence, where we now live together.
We married in my native land, Vancouver, BC, Canada and lived there for a few months, then we moved to Milan for a while at the beginning of our life together in Italy (I’ll tell ya about that later). Firenze is where we are now and where we believe we belong. I am a firm believer in being present, however, meaning that things can change at any given moment and you gotta adapt. My dear Italy has drilled me in life lessons on how to be present and adapt, let me tell you.
Italy is a wondrous place. For better and for worse, its home now. Let me tell you another thing – it’s one thing to visit Italy, it’s another thing to live here. And I mean open-endedly live here. Italy really can be just like you see it in the dreamy postcard pics, inside and out. Other times it’s more like a brutal paparazzi pic and the bad press can be unfortunately true. Yet you just can’t help but fall in love with Italia again and again, even with all its idiosyncrasies. Here is where I will share about the beautiful mess. It’s amore.
I’m still a ‘newbie’ and haven’t been here long, so I definitely don’t pretend to know it all! But little by little I’m learning a ton, so here I present to you some tales of Tuscany and wherever else the wind takes us, and photos to accessorize the stories. Lots of photos, because I like them, ok?. Just like how many Italians, men and women alike, like to dress up life with their accessories. They especially like to pile on the bracelets, probably just because they like em too. Power to them.
I have been utterly grateful for technology as I progressively uncover my new home! Even though Italy has the slowest internet in Europe (con!) it has a lot going on (pro!) so it’s always useful when getting grounded to have the help of seasoned pros on how to do life here. Please look to your right for a list of beautiful bloggers. Hopefully I too can be of good service to other inquiring minds as they have been to me!
Along with travel adventures and curiosities about the country of Italy, you might find some recipes and even school stories on this page. I’m expanding my repertoire as a domestic diva and a teacher here in Italy too. I was an elementary school teacher in Canada, and I have begun the pilot year of a bilingual program at a private school here in Florence, so that should surely provide for a few hilarious antidotes now and then. It’s a unique experience teaching children in Italy and learning more about the workings and values of the infamous Italian “famiglia” through my work and of course, my personal life as a member of one myself!
So if you also call this crazy country “casa,” or you’re a globe-trotter looking for a local’s perspective on the place, or you’re simply delighted by the ‘dolce vita,’ you are most welcome to share in mine. Benvenuti al blog FlorenGina!
PS: If you google “FlorenGina” you might come across some icky Portuguese guy making suggestive gestures…yeah, that’s definitely not at all related to me.