admin on June 22nd, 2011

Who said learning Italian would be easy! At times I just want to pull my hair and scream!  I was originally born in Bulgaria but at the age of sixteen I relocated to the USA, where I lived there for fifteen years.  Currently I’m 31 years old living in Florence and I fluently speak Bulgarian and English.  Also, I can write, read, and somewhat speak Russian, and I understand Macedonian, Serbian, and a little bit of Polish.  I’m fortunate to comprehend all these languages either fluently or semi because all have helped me tremendously with the process of learning Italian. Though, occasionally there are moments when my brain gets into a big mishmash.

Italian grammar is quite difficult because there is a lot of irregular verb usage, so here comes the memorization part, and like every other language it has its delicate enigmas.  Bulgarian grammar is absolutely identical but my problem is that I think in English because my initial adulthood began in the USA.  I graduated High School and College there as well as building my work experience, so I can truly say that I’m 100% Americanized.  As far as English grammar goes, there are no irregular verbs and there is just a single change in third person where you add a simple “s.”  Maybe now you’d recognize my frustration!

I consider myself a pretty bright girl and perhaps because I love writing and reading, so I’ve never had any difficulties with grammar.  Also, I find Italian pronunciation easy because it’s very straight forward, so in other words whatever you write and read doesn’t really change like English.  However, there are a few exceptions but the intonation changes slightly and I promise, it’d come to you naturally while speaking. I highly suggest doing a detailed research when selecting a school because having a proficient instructor is essential. Having a teacher who is fluent in English is necessary since he or she knows correctly how big of a difference both languages have.  This is just my personal view and furthermost it’s significant the approach towards instruction the tutor proceeds.

Even though my present mentor is brilliant, I still get jaded every now and then.  I’ve discovered ways to spice things up with the motivation progression.  Proud to be “Ms. Vogue Fanatic” since I was a little girl when I’d get in trouble for wearing my mom’s shoes, I decided to purchase my very first Italian Fashion Magazine.  I love it! Still, reading it leisurely, so I don’t get overwhelmed. I’m satisfied to say that moment I devote is a step-up on the way to my wisdom journey.  In Florence there are hundreds of journals, so no matter what you’re passionate reading about either, health, fitness, culinary, cars, or traveling, it will help you learn Italian.  By the way, I’m awe-struck with the magazines’ assortment.  I aspired to dare my persona further by setting up my computer internet home page in Italian.  It’s so entertaining!  I get to read the weather conditions in Italian, my day-to-day horoscope, or specific gossip but I try not to occupy too much time since its precious.

In general, there are thousands of techniques studying a foreign language but it all comes down to your attitude and keeping on a whole-hearted inner self!


Student of
Spirito Italiano
Italian Language School

admin on June 21st, 2011

I come from a middle class family and have never known the feeling of a deluxe life. As long as I can remember, working hard for what I have has at all times been the story.  Though, I strongly believe that you can’t buy happiness, health, love and etc.  In the USA, I live with my mom in a three bedroom really nice fully equipped 21st century apartment.  It’s located in one of the supreme elite suburbs out of the city of Chicago.  I was intellectually geared up for my new so called life in Florence as far as the conditions; yet it didn’t hit me up until I arrived.

In Florence, I live in a small studio where it’s kind of like one big room where I have a bed, a fully equipped kitchen, a pretty nice wooden table with a few chairs, some sort of clothing cabinets, and a mirror if you’re lucky. Furthermore, there is a bathroom which is completely separate with a washing machine inside.  Oh, I nearly forgot there is a TV but I can never get it to work.  Overall, I feel pretty fortunate with my studio because it’s big enough for a girl and I don’t feel too lonesome.  Moreover, what I like about this place is that when you walk in, there’s a hallway area and my kitchen is separate from my “bedroom” if I may say.

The most awful part of living in Florence is all the enormous vampires called mosquitos.  I’ve turned into a terminator! In the USA, they spray during the season of the mosquitos but I’m positive they don’t in Italy because my entire feminine physique has been beaten all over.  I guess in Florence the buildings aren’t constructed the same way as in the USA with net shield on the windows.  If you have the money, you can easily purchase something similar to it but just remember, the windows here are actually large.  What I did was asking the landowner to provide an electronic mosquito repellent for the little vampires.  Now I’m okay and got used to it quickly since it brought back memories from Bulgaria.

For those of you who haven’t ever stayed in Europe, I have noteworthy newsflash for you! The water and energy are LUXURIOUS!  I have even more gratefulness for our natural surroundings! In the USA, there is overconsumption to a point where it’s become a Global Concern. In Chicago, I’d just let the water run while brushing my teeth or shampooing my hair.  Beforehand I’d have the lights on all over the place; I’d leave the TV on even if I’m not watching it, the computer running and anything you can perhaps think of.  In Florence, I pay for water and energy separately on monthly basis and it’s costly though makes me pick up a message about obligation of nature.  When I was a kid in Bulgaria we wouldn’t have water running as well as not having energy on regular basis since there wasn’t enough of each natural resource.

Living in Florence or anyplace in the world has it benefits and drawbacks but what matters is your well-being!  I may not have an extravagant dynasty in Lake Como like Mr. George Clooney but he’s not as distinctive as Ms. Aneta.  I’m fulfilled, strong, and healthy!  This fresh life of mine is thrill-seeking and enthusiastic but most of all I own it!  Occasionally, I can’t fall asleep at night-time because of all the gatherings’ or vehicles’ noise but that’s the role of the Italian way of life.  Baby, I live in the center of Florence living it up! Dreams do come true!


Student of
Spirito Italiano
Italian Language School

admin on June 21st, 2011

I couldn’t believe the unprofessionalism of a few female teachers at the first school where I was studying Italian.  You know what; it’s supposedly an elite school with quite a few locations all over Italy and it’s where almost everyone attends.  My school experience in the USA has at all times been satisfactory but I was a bit disappointed with a few instructors at this particular faculty.  I’m referring to both professionalism and proper outer appearance.

This was the very first four week Italian-intensive course that I took in Florence and was Monday thru Friday 9:00 – 12:15p.m.  The first half of the lecture included Italian Grammar from 9:00 – 10:30 p.m. and the second half was called Conversation from 10:45 – 12:15 p.m., where I had a different instructor for each session.  Throughout the full period of time the teacher who lectured Italian Grammar was continuously the same, though I possibly had like five different instructors for Conversation.  Out of all those, simply one knew what she was doing and I can decently tell you she was an outstanding educator.  Likewise, that lady sure was a lovely soul.

Now let’s go back to the leading “Ms. Charisma” that was awfully rude, discourteous, inconsiderate, improper, and the list can go on and on but I’ll break right here for now.  She substituted twice and both times looked like she just rolled out of bed.  I’m without doubt all right with that since it’s a personal choice of hers yet snapping her fingers or whistling at me NOT!  She was trying to catch my attention but I’d persistently ignore her until she’d actually call my name.  I was so close to not only shutting her up but getting up and leaving the class room.  Though, I think she got the message because of my response and as well giving her a nasty look.  The rest of the students weren’t too happy either as we kind of looked at each other all shocked by her manners.  For the remaining time of the period she tried to kind of save the situation but I felt like it was too late, the damage’s done and you can’t really go back and fix it.

“Ms. Allure” was an extra “piece of art” but at least she was courteous.  On the other hand, I can’t wait to tell you how inappropriate her ensemble stood.  I don’t even know where to begin from because she was completely exposed at the upper front and the rear part! If you may perhaps give it a shot and just use your imagination on this one for me.  She had on a satin halter skintight dress in a champagne hue ready to go to the bar.  Was that woman eye-catching? Undeniably!  Several of you might be curious of all the fellas’ reaction.  The whole class, both guys and girls didn’t actually comment whatsoever but then sure were staring at her during the period.  I personally was saddened and dissatisfied since I paid a lot of money for this specific program to study Italian and here this so called teacher is flaunting her junk.  See, I

can understand casual dressing at school for instructors but go

ing to work half naked is unacceptable.  There are individuals from all over the world who attend this school with diverse upbringings and culture, so you can never distinguish who might get offensive.  During the discussion she kept on pulling down her dress and I wonder if she was feeling uncomfortable. Oh, and on top of that she was chewing gum and I was able to see all her interior teeth.

A number of you possibly will say that I’m being harsh but I have no apologies! In fact I have a degree in Fashion Merchandising and Management and have always been working in the fashion industry but I’ve never seen such obscenity.  There is a time and place for everything in life!  My dad used to say that the fewer clothes a woman has on, the less appealing she is. I think he was truthful, leave something to the imagination and remember, each time be an exclusive woman!


Student of
Spirito Italiano
Italian Language School

admin on June 20th, 2011

It was nothing new to me that the majority of the Italian population is smokers. Though, to me what’s even worse is that is much more socially accepted than in the USA.  I originally grew up in Bulgaria where it’s the same story but have been living in Chicago for the past fifteen years where there are rules when it comes to smoking etiquette.  Currently, I study and live in Florence, a remarkable city with so much history, culture, art, fashion, and of course love.  I’m sure you get “the pretty picture” but let me tell all you nonsmokers out there, it’s not cool when you constantly have to inhale all that nicotine. I absolutely hate it and it’s just ridiculous!

People in Florence smoke everywhere, on the streets, in cafes and restaurants, in front of schools and every store’s entrance, while driving, and yes even while bicycling or driving a motorcycle.  They probably smoke more than they eat or do anything else.  Every morning I’d open the windows of the studio where I currently live to get some “fresh air,” but I’m not always lucky because the side of the building faces the street.  I find this really disturbing, especially when smoking at an entrance.  Come on, give me a break!  Whatever happened to common sense and human etiquette!  I mean if you want to poison your body, go ahead but have some manners and don’t stand right in front of the entrance, like you owe the place.  It’s called politeness!

I’ve seen mothers taking a walk with their babies in strollers and smoking at the same time.  I feel so sorry for these kids. Honestly, I don’t comprehend where these women’ brains are and if they even have a slightly idea of the consequences.  First of all, don’t get me started on the increased risk to develop various cancers and secondly, ladies, it’s bad hygiene.  I guess these women don’t really care about aging or living a healthy lifestyle.  I’m not an expert but we all know that the best thing you can do for a beautiful, glowing complexion is to stop smoking.  Nicotine can add years to your appearance, so by quitting your skin will become smoother and more radiant.  Similarly, this speaks for men too because smoking can increase their risk of health problems including lung cancer. My father who passed away was a social smoker but he never ever smoked in the apartment we lived in back then. He loved us too much and I’m sure his heart just wouldn’t let him. Smoking around other people can cause serious health problems.

I also can’t stand it while I’m having either lunch or dinner at a restaurant and having to smell cigarette smoke.  In the USA, smoking is not allowed in restaurants, cafes or bars.  The US Government made it a law and the owners can get a pretty big fine if they fail to follow.  I’m not aware if there are any laws in Italy when it comes to smoking but I sure don’t appreciate inappropriate etiquette.

In general, Florence is actually fresh because every single morning workers clean and wash its streets. Yet, by late afternoon it gets full of thrown cigarettes on the ground.  In my opinion such a significant city that is constantly visited by thousands of tourists must be maintained flawlessly, so it doesn’t ruin its image. I just wish that people would not only respect each other more but mostly care for the environment we are all breathing.


Student of
Spirito Italiano
Italian Language School

admin on May 28th, 2010

Today I went to the Mercato delle Cascine and because it was a good relaxing experience, I want to share this with you.

This market is situated on the banks of the Arno inside the beautiful Parco delle Cascine, one of  the biggest open market in Florence. Unfortunately, is open only on Tuesday from 8 am to 2 pm.    clothes, leather goods, footwear, fruit, vegetables, flowers, household goods.  It is the perfect place to find bargains and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere or just and have a rest by sleeping on the grass.
The Augsburg-Lorena family that succeeded the Medici as rulers of Florence gifted Le Cascine to the State Department of Possessions and the park opened to the public.
The other big open market is the Mercato di San Lorenzo. Here you can find a variety of goods, from local crafts, clothing, leather, jewelers etc.  Inside the Mercato Centrale there are two floors. The ground floor is full of stalls selling pastas and spices and mant of tipical Florentine products. Also it is good for cheap breakfast or lunch on the go, there are small restaurants inside, or you can eat on the steps. Vegetables, fruits and flowers are sold on the upper floor of the market hall.
Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio
Last Florentine market, and in my opinion the more Florentine, is the Mercato di Sant Ambrogio, which is in the area of Sant Abrogio, and very near my school.
It is just a small Florentine market, yet the atmosphere is more relaxed. Also here it is possible to buy fresh produce, meats, wines, pressed olives and fresh olive oil.
Markets in the center of FlorenceMercato di San Lorenzo
Piazza S. Lorenzo, Via dell’Ariento. Closed on Sundays and Mondays. Open every first Sunday of the month.

Mercato delle Pulci di Piazza Ciompi  (Flea Market)
Piazza dei Ciompi Open all day on the last Sunday of every month.

Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio
Piazza Ghiberti. Open weekday mornings only.

Mercato del Porcellino. (Straw Market)
Piazza del Porcellino. Open from 8am to 7pm: closed on Sundays and Monday mornings.

Mercato delle Cascine
Parco delle Cascine. Open only on Tuesday from 8 am to 2 pm

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admin on May 24th, 2010

Preziosa 2010 DIALOGUES


The 2010’s edition of PREZIOSA features an open presentation that evolves and is organised at the level of dialogue. Three masters of research jewellery have been asked to select a younger artist to set up a dialogue with. In this way the curator takes the role of stimulator and mediator, seeking to weave a mesh of questions, answers, propositions, statements and mediations triggered by the meeting with the various artists, and finally charting a sort of log of the routes pursued. The exhibition is thus driven by a “spirit of dialogue”. Not merely “talking with” but “thinking with”, “being bound by thought”: a dialogue based on the desire to understand and know the other, and to propose an approach to the reality of the research jewel through a spirit of discovery. For this reason the three chosen artists share the fact that they belong to the same generation, that they are established, recognised artists with a long experience as teachers behind them, while at the same time representing three different approaches to research in jewellery. Each of the three artists will offer a broad and inclusive presentation of his or her own work, and will also select a younger artist, so as to set up and develop dialogues between different generations, languages and contents.


This relationship of dialogue will make it possible to develop broader reflections on the creative reality of the jewel, its history and its present. The public will be able to know the work of the six artists through the various phases of their work, listening to the conversations and reflections triggered by the encounters, and also by reading the “dialogue” in the works themselves. The idea behind the exhibition is to offer a view of jewellery research from within, to give space and voice to the protagonists, and through their cultural and personal filters get to know the work of the three younger artists, who have developed original research with a language that is already recognisable. Three artists, three different nationalities, a geographical line leading from North to South: Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy. Three artists who have been working for around forty years, pursuing paths that are totally different, each with a complex language, a personal and characteristic Kunstwollen, despite sharing a marked spirit of research and experimentation.

Contemporary Jewellery

PREZIOSA is a cultural project, an annual prestigeous exhibition dedicated to international Research Jewellery. The project began in 2005, and was conceived, organized and coordinated by “Le Arti Orafe”, since 1985 the school for Contemporary Jewellery Making and Jewellery Design in Italy.

Every year the artistic approachto the complex subject of jewellery is explored through a specific concept, and with the selection of artists from all the world.

Il progetto PREZIOSA è subito diventato uno dei più prestigiosi appuntamenti mondiali dedicati alla creazione orafa contemporanea, e la sola mostra d’arte contemporanea prodotta in Toscana ed esportata con grande successo all’estero: l’edizione 2007-2008 è stata ospitata a Barcellona e l’edizione 2009 a New Delhi, presso l’Ambasciata Italiana.

L’edizione 2010 sarà presentata a Città del Messico nel mese di aprile. Dal 2007 un’anteprima della mostra viene organizzata in occasione della fiera internazionale Inhorgenta, che si tiene a Monaco di Baviera nel mese di Febbraio.

Dal 2008 la mostra collaterale “PREZIOSA YOUNG” presenta una selezione di giovani artisti del gioiello, scelti da una giuria internazionale. Anche questa mostra-concorso è diventato un riferimento, con molte decine di partecipanti da ogni parte del mondo.

Ogni anno la manifestazione prende il nome della città che lo ospita: per questo le prime 4 edizioni hanno preso il nome di “Lucca Preziosa”.

Information received at the Italian lanuage school in Florence “Spirito Italiano” from:

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admin on May 23rd, 2010
Today 23/05/2010 in Florence and in Tuscany, many private gardens and courtyards are open on this day. Also in Piazza Signoria there is the “Fiorita”, the commemoration of the death Savonarola.

Florence’s historic residences will be open to the public
More than a hundred palaces were built in Florence in the course of the 15th century, and it is no surprise that the beauty and size of these private buildings were such that in the maps and views of the age, the large palaces of the big merchant families were granted equal importance to the most important public and religious edifices.

The following villas and homes will be open in Florence and the province on Sunday 11 May (the places marked by an asterisk are taking part in the event for the first time). 

Colli Fiorentini
1)Villa Fontallerta, viale Righi 60, Firenze*
2)Castel di Poggio, via di Vincigliata 4, Fiesole
3)Villa di Maiano, via del Salviatino 1, Fiesole
4)Villa La Torraccia, via delle Fontanelle 24, S. Domenico di Fiesole*
5)Villa Nieuwenkamp, via Vecchia Fiesolana 62, S. Domenico di Fiesole
6)Villa il Rinuccino, via Ferrucci 43, Fiesole
7)Villa Schifanoia, via Boccaccio 121, S. Domenico di Fiesole
8)Villa Salviati, via Faentina 261, Firenze*

PLEASE NOTE! Villa Salviati will only be open from 10am to 1pm; visitors will be admitted in groups of 25 every 15 minutes. Some form of valid identification must be left at the entrance.

Historic City Centre of Florence
1)Giardino Malenchini, via de’ Benci 1
2)Palazzo Stiozzi Ridolfi, via San Niccolò 99*
3)Palazzo Guicciardini, via Guicciardini 15
4)Palazzo Bartolozzi, via Maggio 11*
5)Palazzo Ricasoli, via Maggio 7
6)Palazzo Frescobaldi, via Santo Spirito 13
7)Hanging garden of Palazzo Guicciardini, via Santo Spirito 14
8)Palazzo Antinori di Brindisi, via dei Serragli 9*
9)Giardino Torrigiani, via del Campuccio 53
10) Cloister of the former Convento del Carmine (hostel), via del Leone 35*
11)Palazzo Corsini, lungarno Corsini 10
12)Palazzo Bartolini Salimbeni, piazza Santa Trinita 1
13)Courtyard of Palazzo Rucellai, via della Vigna Nuova 18
14)Palazzo Antinori, piazza Antinori 3
15)Palazzo Barbolani di Montauto, via de’ Ginori 9
16)Palazzo Taddei, via de’ Ginori 15
17)Palazzo Tolomei Biffi, via de’ Ginori 19
18)Palazzo Pandolfini, via San Gallo 74
19)Palazzo Ximenes Panciatichi, borgo Pinti 68
20)Palazzo Grifoni Budini Gattai, piazza SS. Annunziata 1
21)Palazzo Niccolini, via dei Servi 15*
22)Palazzo Incontri, via de’ Pucci 1*

If you are only interested you cen visit as usual my Florence and Tuscany apartments tental site

The Fiorita in Florence 
Commemoration of the death of Savonarola (23 May) – Piazza della Signoria 
Every year, on the anniversary of that date, a Mass is celebrated in Palazzo Vecchio in his memory, and flowers – the Fiorita – are laid on the spot where he was burnt.
The ceremony is accompanied by music and a performance by flag-wavers.
In Palazzo Vecchio, at 10 o’clock, there will be the commemoration of the death Savonarola. After the worship in the Cappella dei Priori, the Florentine civil, religious and administrative authorities go to the exact place where Fra’ Girolamo Savonarola was hanged and burnt, and, after the commemorative acts, rose petals and flowers are laid on the floor. The Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola, prior of San Marco and a stern moralizer, was burnt at the stake in Piazza della Signoria on 23 May 1498.
Fra’ Girolamo Savonarola had condemned the vanities, frivolousness and lust of Florentines by burning all those books he considered such during a Carnival festivity; he preached against corruption and gave messages of apocaliptic dimensions. He was then put on trial and condemned to death.
In the center of Piazza Signoria  flowers and twigs of palm will be strewed in the exact point on which Savonarola was hung and burned toghether with his brothers Domenico Buonvicini da Pescia and Silvestro Maruffi da FIrenze. The Historical Procession of the Florence Republic will go then on Ponte Vecchio and there, flower-petals will be simbolically thrown in the river Arno by the side of the Cellini’s bust.
The event is called “la fiorita” because many flowers of every kind were laid from then on, after the frair’s death, on that same memorial stone, on the day of his death.

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admin on May 13th, 2010

Meteo Toscana