PALAZZO BELFIORE APARTMENTS IN FLORENCE

REFLECTIONS FROM OUR INTERN – CATHERINE

Californian Intern, Catherine Slabaugh shares her experience working with Your Place In Florence.

“When I was first looking to study abroad, I knew I wanted my experience in Italy to be different than the average American-girl-in-Florence. I wanted a unique experience, something that challenged me to step outside of my comfortable world at home and pushed me to grow through the adversities I was bound to have. What better way to have all this than hold an Italian internship at a company I knew nothing about and no one at! 

Interning with Your Place in Florence at the Palazzo San Niccolò, Palazzo Belfiore and Palazzo Del Moro has been an incredibly unique and eye-opening experience. Few 20-year-olds are given the opportunity to hold an internship abroad, so I went in open-minded and full of curiosity as to what I’d be doing, who I’d be working with, and how an Italian business may be different from what I’m used to.

For some context, this Internship is the first job I’ve held where I entered a company knowing absolutely no one. This is also the first job I’ve held that has not been a job in the Religion industry. Thus, I was walking in rather blind and uncertain. 

I can’t say I had too many of the initial hurdles that may come to mind when you think of an American interning in Italy. My boss’s first language is English, the work I do, primarily social media, is something I’m quite comfortable with, and work days take on the same structure as they do in the States. 

However, the first couple weeks at the Palazzis were quite the adjustment period. My boss was learning what I was capable of and I was learning where I may fit in to the company. The most difficult adjustment for me initially was adapting to the Italian work style, a slower pace with time for conversation and time between projects. This was difficult for me, not accomplishing a million and one things each day made work days seems unsuccessful. In the past, I’ve always been given a rather extensive and ongoing to-do list at work and I’ve been comfortable enough with the company to create my own work. However, stepping in to a company you just heard of a few weeks prior, with people you met just last week, in an industry that is quite literally foreign to you takes away some of this autonomy. 

But as I developed a rhythm with my work and trust was established between my boss and I, work became much smoother. I found the importance in taking time to talk with coworkers and develop a more personal relationship with them. I found it okay to only accomplish five tasks in a day instead of my usual ten. I found myself dreaming up projects and carrying them out with positive feedback, as well as receiving critiques that have pushed me to look at social media in a much more professional way. This is my first time working for a larger company and as social media develops more and more each day, it takes a much stronger role in the development and outreach of a business.

Looking back on the past 12 weeks at the Palazzis, the greatest takeaways have to be some of the unique Florentine experiences I’ve been granted. The two that stand out the most are my visit to a local tea shop to showcase a partnership they have with our Palazzis on social media, and a private tour I took of the oldest Pharmacy and Perfume shop for a blog post I wrote. Representing an Italian company on social media that prides themselves on providing unique Tuscan experiences has encouraged me to truly dive into the Italian lifestyle and attempt to see Florence through the eyes of locals. I often talk with my boss about local events coming up, Tuscan delicacies she and her family prepare, and local artisan shops scattered throughout the city. 

Working with Your Place in Florence was a leap of faith into an industry I had never worked in before that has ultimately provided me with clarity on what I aspire to do in the future. I don’t necessarily think I’ll find myself working in the hotel industry or returning for permanent work in Florence, but sometimes we learn the most about ourselves through experiences that we may never have again. An eye-opening and incredibly unique Internship to say the least, and perhaps the most cherished gift I’ll take with me as I return home.”

GUEST EXPERIENCE TESTIMONIAL

Last month we had some of our guests enjoy two of our exclusive experiences during their stay with us.  It is always such an honour to receive emails like the following from happy and satisfied guests and so we just had to share!

“Dear Federico,

I want to send a quick note to thank you for a wonderful vacation.  My mom, daughter and sister had the best time!  We loved staying at the apartment.  The location is great, the hospitality you showed us, the accommodations….everything…just perfect!  One thing we didn’t get a chance to do that we had hoped was to visit the tea shop.  The tea was fantastic!  

The tours you recommended were among our favourite things.  My mom is still talking about the sidecar tour and the wine tour my son and his friend (who had been on other ones) commented to me that tour you arranged on Sunday was the best they had been on!  It is worth noting that the driver (he is in one of the pictures) was terrific!  We had so much fun!  

Everything…every single person…was just great!  

Thank you again.  We are already looking forward to visiting Florence in the future and staying again at the Palazzo Belfiore!

Jodi”

FERRAGOSTO

August 15  is one of the most popular and biggest holidays in Italy.  Known as Ferragosto, which literally translates as ‘holiday in August’, this day originates from Roman times when the first Emperor, Augusto decided to establish a day off in the middle of the hottest month.

Expect most businesses to be closed and most cities to be deserted as most Italians will be at the beach or escapiing the heat in the mountains.  If you decide to go to the beach on the 15th August, be prepared to get wet as it is also a tradition to throw buckets of water over anyone in close proximity – of course this is most popular with the kids and teenagers but beware if you happen to be in the path of a water-fight! Whatever your plans this Ferragosto, if you do happen to find yourself in Florence, you will have plenty of choices of things to do and see!

In Florence, most of the museums will be open and below is a quick quide to the opening hours :

The Uffizi Gallery is open as usual from 8:15am until 6:30pm

Palazzo Vecchio will be open from 9:00am until 11:00pm while The ‘Torre di Arnolfo’ will be open from 9:00am until 9:00pm.

Santa Maria Novella will be open from 12:00pm until 6:30pm

Museo Novecento will be open from 11:00am util 8:00pm.

Forte Belvedere which is currently showing the exhibition ‘Gong’ by Eliseo Mattiacci will be open from 10:00 – 20:00 but you must book prior to arrival.

The Bardini museum will be closed for the Ferragosto holiday.

 

 

There are also a number of musical events and concerts to be enjoyed in Florence.  At the ‘Giardino dell’Orticultura there will be a concert by the Alyen Roy Band which is a mix of jazz, swing, bossa nova and fusion.  The show starts at 7:00pm. San Salvi park will also be hosting a concert by quartet ‘Banditaliana’ founded in 1992 by organist Ricardo Tesi.  Bookings are recommended. You can also enjoy a dj set and aperitivo at the ‘Spiaggia sull’Arno / River Urban Beach, on the banks of the river Arno in front of Piazza Poggi.