The Florence the Tourists Don't See!

In response to the many Message Board requests for the hidden, the out-of-the-way, the quaint, the undiscovered in Florence, we now offer the opportunity to live like a native in this beautiful city!

You will join moderator Maureen on one of her visits to the family!

"Visiting family in Florence is still visiting family."
- moderator Kim


Accommodations will be on the trundle bed in my sister's living room, on the top floor (5th American - no elevator) of an historic (old plumbing and electrical systems) building located on a scenic piazza in the "trendy" Oltrarno.

After arriving at the adorable Florentine airport, fill out the missing luggage forms at the Alitalia counter and head on over to our house!

Daily Routine

We won't bother setting up a day-by-day schedule, but here's the daily routine:

  • We're responsible for shopping for and cooking lunch and dinner Monday to Saturday. The number of people eating will constantly change at the last minute as my nieces ask if they can invite friends to dine with us. Watch six pre-adolescents eat what would easily be $70.00 worth of prosciutto in the US!
  • We will attend at least one sporting event, music recital, holiday pageant, dance performance, etc. per afternoon, courtesy of my nieces and their friends.
  • There will be a daily 6:30pm scavenger hunt for some obscure supply one of my nieces forgot to mention she needs for school the next day.

Specialized Tour Features

  • At least one visit to an emergency room, and accompany my nieces to several scheduled doctors visits - the pediatrician, the orthodontist, the dentist. We'll watch in amazement as the pediatrician lights up a cigarette!
  • Up close and personal encounters with several genuine Florentine craftsmen - the caldaio, the plumber, the muratore, maybe our elderly housepainter with his pink bicycle! It's amazing how much upkeep a 600 year old apartment requires!
  • We will search for things my sister asks us to pick up while we're at the market at the Cascine. Not knowing the Italian word for "plunger" or "door hinge", we will act it out!
  • The cats will bring in a lizard, bird, bat or some other half-alive thing that will need to be dealt with. We will never lose our amazement at what these felines can catch on a roof.
  • A rainy Sunday afternoon at Trespiano, to visit the relatives no longer with us. And to make sure they're still where we left them, given the habitual flooding there.
  • Sundays and holidays may also be filled with trips to the Meyer, Careggi and other hospitals. We may stop by Carcere Istituti de Pena Sollicciano, too, if our naughty cousin is still there!
  • At least one children's birthday party, guaranteed to be in an obscure location, or at an inconvenient time. (There goes our plan to visit the Baptistry!)
  • A trip to the post office to pay a bill will take up an entire morning, and negate our plans to see that exhibit at Palazzo Strozzi. (Lunch should be served at 1:48, give or take three minutes).
  • Unexpected last minute visits from relatives!
  • We will load the two cats into the carrier and take them to the veterinarian, Cinzia, only to find a hand-written note on the door saying the office is closed today. Or closed for the rest of the day, beginning 10 minutes ago. This will happen several times.
  • There will be at least one search for a pharmacy that is open at 2am, or on a Sunday or holiday.
  • On more than one occasion we will chose to stay home and watch "Motus" on France2 rather than head down the street and see the Brancacci Chapel.
  • Our cultural highlight may be accompanying four 12 year olds to see the latest LOTR or Harry Potter film. You may have the opportunity to watch an animated film, and realize just how difficult it is to follow one in a foreign language!

Past Trip Highlights Have Included

  • Paying parking tickets at the vigili office at Porta al Prato.
  • Nostalgic visits to the former hospital in Fiesole, birthplace of my nieces.
  • A trip to Ikea in scenic Osmannoro. And the subsequent wait for delivery a few days later. (Oppps! Looks like the Uffizi visit is cancelled that day!)
  • The search for the "viecoli rimossi" lot on the very outskirts of the city.
  • An afternoon at the Tourist Medical Service office on via Lorenzo il Magnifico.
  • Special holiday and weekend visits to the country house in Corchiano (VT), a place unknown even to Italians! And avoided by the Italians who DO know it!
  • Weddings, funerals and baptisms.

The list of possibilities is almost endless.

Join Maureen in Florence, and see for yourself how it is possible to spend weeks at a time in Florence and never ever ever eat out!


Click to sign up for this tour!!


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