Ali Matteini

a life creative

A Month In The Renaissance City

I’m currently in Firenze for a month of creativity, senza distrazione…


…Though the view from my bedroom window can be a little distracting.


I’m embarking on a week of refresher stuff for my jewellery [in particular, stone setting] with silversmith and jeweller Naomi Muirhead, in order to shake out the fear of fire [literally] after almost three years of not having lit a torch, aside from my very short stay with Ken Raffe when we visited Australia.

This will be followed by three weeks or so of printmaking with the Printmaking Sisters. I haven’t attempted waterless lithography since I took part in their workshop…probably five years ago, back in my hometown in Australia. I’m looking forward to it.
In my downtime, I’ll be tackling that dastardly novel.

The Apartment

I love Firenze, I feel at home here. It’s a walkable city and I enjoy losing myself in its streets. I’ve rented the ideal apartment in Santa Croce, central to both courses, using AirBnB [see below for my experience with AirBnB in Italia]*

IMG_6175 2

Secret garden: view from my terrazza


It’s small and perfectly formed, is light, modern, clean and airy and in a quiet area, though there was a game between Juventus and Real Madrid and with Juventus kicking butt, the roar above Firenze made me think I was in a stadium. Then came the squealing of youth running down the street, and later the sloppy clopping of heels from a gaggle drunk American women who were yelling over the top of each other and who probably out-louded even the Italians watching a game, which is some feat.

I am missing my wonderful fiancé and the Etruscan moggy, though we call one another several times a day [M does; the cat has it almost figured out] and we’ll be catching up in Roma on the 18th for all things bureaucracy in regards to our matrimonio italiano …


* A note on AirBnB – definitely the more cost-effective option, though I have to say beware. I’ve used this service in Melbourne and in London and have had a great experience. Before I found my wonderful apartment here in Firenze, and a very honest and gentile landlord, I’d been looking at another apartment across town, central, for a wonderfully low price advertised on the site…but then she wanted extra cash in hand.
Like, 400€ extra in hand.

Aside from being against the rules of AirBnB, this illegal in Italy. Bluntly, it’s tax evasion – and everyone likes to save a euro here and there [and they really have to in order to keep the chin above the waterline, believe me, Italian government can teach us a thing or two about that], but this girl is ripping off foreigners by the hundreds. When I asked for a fattura with the little story that I required one as my boss was paying for my stay, she said “sure” and then, very quickly indeed, she cut me off.
Which was perfect, because I found this gorgeous apartment.



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