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Ciaoooo! My name is Rachel aka Rachele aka The Italianista and I live in Florence, Italy. Being a partial-expat (I am American but also have dual citizenship with Italy, so I guess I’m like half-expat?), when moving from the US to Italy, I realized there was a lot I didn’t know and wish I had. So, I created this site to help travelers like me, decode the real Italy. It’s not always easy, and definitely not the wine drinking oasis one sees on vacation, but it is my home, and I hope you fall in love with the real Italy as well.


I’m Amy!  I have lived in Florence for about a year with my husband Taj, who is here on a rotation for work.  We always dreamed of traveling or living abroad since neither of us had this chance in college, but after getting married and buying a home (and having to think about when we would have kids) that dream seemed far off.  My husband convinced me that we could do it all and boldly applied for an international rotation with his company.  Finally after a few months, a resource manager reached out and asked if we would be interested in Florence, Italy and I immediately responded by saying…”WE HAVE TO TAKE THIS!”  I had only been to Sardinia about 12 years prior (and had never taken Italian lessons), so embarking on this journey was completely new and challenging for us.  We are both originally from Wisconsin but still have a home in Nashville, TN.  I’ve spent my free time here learning Italian and attempting to embrace Italian culture, food, and wine.  I conveniently live about two blocks from “the Italianista” herself and she has been immensely helpful in helping me navigate everything that is “Firenze.”  Some of my favorite things to do in Florence include: checking out new restaurants, trying to get to all the wineries in Tuscany (haha not in this lifetime, but I have been to a lot of them!), and taking visitors up to Piazzale Michelangelo for a bottle of wine at sunset. As I continue to chime in on this site, I would love to have your feedback.  So, if you have a place, restaurant, museum etc. that you think we should check out or write about, feel free to send me a message! Arrivederci ragazzi!