I'm Lisa!

I’m a magazine founder & editor, a private food & shopping guide and watercolour artist who wants to share everything I know about the best-kept secrets in Tuscany with you.


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Where did October go?

Firenze di Autunno

I can’t believe that October has passed and it is already November! I don’t know where the last month went! It really just flew by and Matteo now weighs more than 5kg!

As I write this it is 3am and I am feeding Matteo. The rain is falling very heavily and the sound of it hitting our sky-light is so comforting as I sit here in our warm home.  Matteo and I went for a walk in the rain last week shielded by my big umbrella but it quickly became a nuisance when we hit the heavily populated tourist centro and had to negotiate all the other umbrellas as we pushed through the crowds.  Is there an umbrella etiquette when passing someone  – who raises their umbrella first? It’s amazing that more eyes aren’t injured during the rainy season!

I passed my driving exam last week so now have my official Italian driving license – such a relief that I don’t have to worry about being pulled over by the police when driving now.  The exam was actually much easier than what I remember from the exam I took all those years ago in Australia.  My examiner was not from Florence as surprisingly all the Florentine driving examiners have been suspended following investigations into them accepting bribes from certain driving schools to pass their students.  Apparently the going rate was about 250 euro – half what I paid to do my bloody driving course!  But at least I can hold my head high and know that I earned my license legitimately.   My examiner was very chatty during the exam and the conversation between him and my driving instructor was so interesting considering that I was also being examined as I drove.   They discussed the current investigations and my examiner advised that someone had tried to bribe him once.  He then went on to advise that there were no chestnuts this year due to the very long, hot summer.  The ‘funghi’ (mainly porcini) and olives have also been effected and don’t even talk about the grapes and wine this season!  I think this conversation during a driving exam is so typically Italian and clearly shows the importance of food and the local produce is as important as their politics!

At the end of the practical test, the examiner told me that I drove really well …………….. which basically meant that I stopped at the pedestrian crossing, gave way at the round-a-bout and confidently & correctly parked in a reverse space; sadly the things that many Italians just don’t do on the road here.

I am starting to feel like I am nearly back to my old self (size) again as can now very happily wear my old jeans but have learnt the hard way how difficult it is to look half decent with a new baby! The other day I was just about to walk out the door when Matteo decided that some of his regurgitated breakfast was the missing accessory to my top.  A few weeks ago while out at dinner, I was holding him as he drifted off to sleep. As I moved him to his pram, I notice that he had been sucking and dribbling down my front so I then sat throughout the remainder of dinner feeling very mucky and not so elegant at all.  Am I going to have to start packing a change of clothes in the nappy bag for me also?

I have been watching with envy the many joggers enjoying the Autumn weather.  I’m not sure when I will feel that I can run again even though my caesar scar is healing quite nicely.   Apart from the pain in my belly, it’s the new increased size of my boobs that I’m most worried about.  I don’t think any of my old sports bras are going to fit me and if I don’t purchase a good quality one, I think I’m going to be extremely uncomfortable (and in a lot of pain) so for the moment I’m just going to stick to my daily power walks with Matteo.  As he is now weighing a more than 5kg, I’m sure that I am getting a good workout and my arms should be nice and toned again in no time considering how many times I lift him up throughout the day!  We are very lucky to now live a two minute walk from the Viale Michelangelo which is a gorgeous tree lined road up to the Piazzale Michelangelo.  I have been enjoying hour long walks while the weather is still quite mild and took the photos below last Sunday.

beautiful colours

Firenze - The Walking City

Viale Michelangelo - perfect morning for a walk!

Old stairway - Piazza Ferrucci

Morning walk - Via dell'erta Canina

Babbo Emi con passeggino

Quick feed - Piazzale Michelangelo

Matteo enjoying the view

We are also very lucky to live walking distance to a hidden gem – The Carraia Garden / il Giardino di Carraia which is found on Via dell’erta Canina.  In 1990, the area was cleaned up by a group of volunteers from the San Niccolo area and the park was restored to it’s former glory.  I can see this is going to be Matteo’s favourite park to play in and the perfect place for me to sit and watch while enjoying the beautiful surroundings.

Giardino di Carraia

Giardino Carraia Playground

I picked up Matteo’s passport last week, ready for our trip to Australia in December.  It was processed surprisingly quickly and will last him for three years.  It’s going to be funny presenting a baby photo for the next three years whenever we travel anywhere!  He has already changed so much since the photo was taken!  Apparently children’s passports used to last ten years here so three years is a big improvement.

Matteo's first passport photo

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FOOD OBSESSED, FASHION LOVER, BUSY MAMMA, MAGAZINE CREATOR & WATERCOLOUR ARTISt.

Ciao, I'm Lisa B,
I’m a magazine founder & editor, a private food & shopping guide and watercolour artist who wants to share everything I know about the best-kept secrets in Tuscany with you.

I created This Tuscan Life blog, magazine and experiences to share everything I love about Florence & Tuscany, one of the most popular and visited regions in Italy.   Add a splash of watercolour & you've got a creative mamma of two who wants to show you the true & authentic side of Tuscany.

Learn more

I always love discovering new fashion brands and so you can imagine my delight when I was recently introduced to a beautiful new Florentine brand called @pavonefirenze.

Founded in 2019 by Creative Directors Angela Testani and Massimo Brilli, PAVóNE FIRENZE is a women’s shoe and accessory collection, designed and created in Florence.

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