Monday, September 13, 2010

Guest post: Ciao Christy

My guest blogger today is an old and dear friend of mine who has the most amazing undiscovered blog called Ciao Christy. I thought that all of you would just adore reading about her adventures. Christy has packed up her life and moved to Florence, Italy. When I read her blog, it's almost like reading the book Eat, Pray, Love. Her observations on the different cultures are wonderful. So, read this post, then head over to her blog to read mine. While your there, hit the follow button, and then check back when she posts again. You will be swept away, I promise! So, I'd like to introduce you to Christy!

Daily Life: Numero Due : Our Homes

I have to talk about the differences in our homes. Back in America, if you are renting an apartment you typically will have a fully working kitchen : oven, 4 burner stove top, microwave, dishwasher, toaster, coffee maker, washing machine & dryer. Right? Not here. If you are planning on moving to Italy you need to know that they do not have all of these conveniences. Get out of your comfort zone, and what you are used to. In Italy, a lot of the apartments come with 2 or 4 stove top burners and a toaster. I mean the toaster that acts as an oven. So you can be thankful in America, that cooking Betty Crocker cookies & brownies comes easy for you! I miss that more than you know!

Dishwashers (if they work properly) are a luxury, and dryers are non-existent. The plus is that you would not get all the charming hanging laundry outside if this wasn't the case. I still love the look of hanging laundry outside the buildings here, its such and Italian trait, and it gently reminds me that I live here. I will not lie though : I love dryers. Mamma mia, I have been in the US for a few weeks, and having your laundry cleaned & dried in one hour is simply amazing. Now, the perk for Italian living is: almost every apartment has a washing machine. In America, that is not the case if you are renting - sometimes it's rare. The Italian kitchens always come equipped with an Italian coffee maker too, delicioso!! I love espresso, so I am happy with this.
More than not, we do not have air conditioning. Be thankful that A/C is equipped in almost every building in the United States. I am lucky because I have a small unit in my living room, so I slept on my sofa for almost 6 weeks because of the heat. The standard beds in Italy are two single beds, that eventually get pushed together to make a "matrimoniale" = our double bed. Queens and King size beds are rare, but who in Italy needs a King size ? the people are skinny & short :) They also only sleep with two pillows. It was always my understanding you set your bed to a minimum 4 pillows, maybe even 6 if you like the real cozy bed ! Believe it or not, pillows are expensive in Florence, unless you buy the cheap ones from Ikea. When I get back I am just invested in another set to make my bed more comfortable.

Anthropologie bedding
The upside to the homes in Italy is, more than not, you will be in an interesting building, filled with history, character and charm. There is nothing generic about the apartments here. There is no such thing as a over sized complexes with 200 of the same layout with the same beige carpet and tacky hanging window panels. Many of the apartments still have the original frescoed or wood beamed ceilings, beautiful ceramic tiled floors and large windows. You do feel a sense that you are stepping back in time when you live here. Somedays it feels good, somedays you want them to catch up to the modern world. But that's Italy. You learn to live without some of the conveniences, and appreciate the beauty in the small things. I have lived in several apartments while being in Florence, and each one has different things that I like about them. I guess my favorite is still the one that has all the Italian charm, but then it had all the modern stuff too::

My old apartment on Via Malenchini
Being back home and having all the conveniences again has taught me not to take them for granted. I think a lot of Americans do not realize how easy life is there. Things work a lot more efficiently in the US, and until you live somewhere that forces you to slow down - you will not realize how lucky you have it. I am looking forward to going back to Florence to work on some "upgrading" projects in my apartment. Feel lucky you have dozens to choose from! How I miss Z Gallerie, West Elm, Restoration Hardware............I wish I could afford the nice home furnishings stores in Florence, but EEkaayaah (Ikea) will have to do! Ciao!


Anonymous said...

Nice to meet you! I'm fascinated by the fact that you moved to Florence. What a different way of life.

Sue said...

Thanks for sharing. I'll definitely be checking out your blog.


Brie said...

Love the bedding, and oh my god, I've got to make some cookies now.

singedwingangel said...

OK seriously I would go nuts lol. I have to have my oven period.. I have a dishwasher my hubby lol... so nice to meet you hun

The Blogging Goddess said...

I want to move to Italy...sans kids. Is that allowed??

Inspiring You To Save! said...

Visiting from the Blog Hops! I love your site. I can't wait to get to know you better. Stop by when you get the chance. I have a Meet Me Monday blog hop and I would love if you could join in. Its the first thing posted on my site.

Christy said...

Grazie for all the nice messages! It can be challenging sometimes living in Italy, but small sacrifices give you big rewards! Nice to meet everyone, ciao for now!

Erin said...

I haven't been to Italy, but I have been to France, England, and Norway. You are spot on about all of it. I do air-dry most of my clothes to be more green, but I appreciate my dryer in a pinch. I don't know what I'd do without my dishwasher....and the AC? Don't even go there b/c I have a thyroid problem and am always hot! I'm glad I discovered you here and plan to head over and follow soon.

Scarlet said...

your post reminds me of the Carousel of Progress ride at Disney World! It makes me want to follow you to Florence.

Scarlet said...

yout post reminds me of the Carousel of Progress ride at Disney World. I want to follow you to Florence!