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Expat Spotlight: Sasha’s Top 3 Tips for Tuscany

This is Sasha. I was born in the north-east of China, and lived in Hong Kong for 8 years before moving to Florence. From a multi-cultural international city to an Italian-culture dominant town, it is a change of lifestyle, as well as lots of living habits. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” I have my own blog Stai Al Borgo (www.staialborgo.com) sharing my expat life in Florence, and would love to have you enjoying me there for this adventure.

Top 3 Favorite Restaurants in Florence?

1) Buca Lapi(Via del Trebbio, 1r, 50123 Firenze). When I have friends visiting me in Florence, I will bring them to Buca Lapi for a big treat of a Tuscan meal. I LOVE the Fiorentina steak there.
2) Mercato Centrale (Via dell’Ariento 50123 Firenze). The first floor of the central market in Florence, where has stalls offering various Italian food: pizza, fresh pasta, panino, arancino, bars for coffee and drinks, gelato, etc. It is a place for everybody.
3) Florian (Via di Parione, 32/red, 50123 Firenze). I like to go there for aperitivo and weekend brunch. It is a place with nice vibes and good food.

Top 3 favorite foods in Italy?

1) Pici pasta. It is a pasta from the Siena region, long, thick and very chewy. I like it with some traditional sauce, such as ragu, tomato sauce, etc. It is such a pity that the Pici is not as well-known worldwide as other kinds of pasta.
2) Fiorentina steak, and it made me realize that I could never be a vegetarian.
3) And of course, Gelato! I also have a post of “How to Distinguish Good/Bad Gelato” on my blog. Check it out if you are also a gelato fan!

Top 3 tips for new expats in Italy?

1) Arm yourself with some basic Italian before moving here.
2) Be very patient to the bureaucracy in Italy.
3) Settle in the city center at the beginning and get familiar with the Italian lifestyle. If you really find yourself happy and enjoying the life here, then later consider to move closer to the countryside

Top 3 tips for travelers in Tuscany?

1) In Florence, you easily get around without cars. However if you plan to head to other Tuscany towns, I would suggest to rent a car with GPRS as driving in the Tuscany country-road itself is such an amazing experience.
2) Read some blogs of local bloggers in advance. You can find many expat bloggers in Tuscany, writing about authentic things to do here, including mine. We travel around and share our own experience, which can be useful for your trip planning.
3) Keep calm and drink Chianti wine.

Top 3 tips for what to pack for Tuscany?

1) Pack something heavier than the season with you. During the summer, a trench coat or a heavy jumper is always a good idea, especially if you are going to the Tuscany countryside, where the weather might change quickly during the day.
2) It is so easy to shoot many photos and find out your iPhone/ camera is out of battery in the middle of the day. So a portable charger is necessary.
3) Make sure you bring flats or sporty shoes. Ladies, heels are not recommended, unless you want to scratch them all.

Top 3 favorite places in Tuscany

1) Florence. I like this place, where I am calling it Home right now. It is a big middle-age town in the modern era.
2) Lucca. You can have an unforgettable time in Lucca, just taking a walk around the wall, drinking a coffee, and visiting some shops down town. I find it a good compromise between Florence and the countryside.
3) Maremma area. It is the south Tuscany, where you find both medieval towns and the seaside.

Top 3 neighborhoods in Florence

1) Piazza della Passera, a small square with restaurants and bars. It is a great place to hang out with friends. I call it the “living room” of Florence.
2) Santo Spirito. There are many artisan shops in this neighborhood, which makes this area local and authentic.
3) Costa San Giorgio – via San Leonardo. It is a quiet and less touristic path, where I usually go for a walk.

For more tips on Italy, watch for upcoming posts on the Italy blog and follow her blog, Stai Al Borgo .

Interested in sharing your top tips? Contact erin {at} insidersabroad {dot} com!

Published July 4th, 2016 by Sasha Wang
Posted to Inside Secrets to Italy

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