Category Archives: FMs4Ms

FIRENZE IN ROSA ONLUS: AMBASSADORS AND VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!

FIRENZE IN ROSA ONLUS

The 5th Edition of the IBCPC Participatory Dragon Boat Festival is just around the corner

The IBCPC Dragon Boat Festival  is held every four years under the auspices of the International Breast Cancer Paddler’s Commission. The Festival is an international non-competitive participatory event targeting Breast Cancer Survivors teams who engage in Dragon Boat activities as post-operative rehabilitation.
For the first time since its institution in 2005, the IBCPC FESTIVAL will take place in Europe: in FLORENCE, ITALY!

AMBASSADORS AND VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!

Imagine Florence bathed in pink!

Come one, Come all  Let’s hold hands and join together to support the International Breast Cancer Festival, July 3 – 8, 2018.

FIRENZE IN ROSA Onlus, the Organizing Committee of the 2018 IBCPC Dragon Boat Florence Festival, will welcome 4,000 to 5,000 people with 120 teams of breast cancer survivors from across the globe.

www.florencebcs2018.org

www.facebook.com/florenceBCSfestival2018/

In order to support FIRENZE IN ROSA Onlus and make this event successful, we need your help!

AMBASSADORS: 120 ambassadors, who will be the point-person for each visiting team. The visiting teams come from Singapore, Germany, France, Brazil, Argentina and many from English-speaking countries, and they’ll need help with translation. The ambassador will contact the captain of the team before the event and welcome the teams when they arrive.

VOLUNTEERS: We need lots of hands to help stuff Swag-Bags, sell T-Shirts, direct people to various locations, and coordinate booths.

PLEASE COME TO THE FIRST ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING TO LEARN MORE. THERE IS NO OBLIGATION.

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR ALL THOSE WOMEN WHO HAVE SURVIVED BREAST CANCER AND WHO PADDLE AS A SIGN OF HOPE.

The Meeting,  organised by AILO Florence,  will be held at the :

British Institute
Sala Ferragamo
Lungarno Guicciardini, 9
50125 Florence
 
Monday, 23 October
Time 17.00 – 18.00

Family-Friendly Dining in Florence

Prior to becoming a mother – when the hours outside of my workday were blissfully free of responsibility – exploring the local restaurant scene was one of my favorite ways to experience Florence. There was never any shortage of places, both old and new, where I could connect with friends on the weekend or unwind with my partner on nights when we were unmotivated to cook.

Unsurprisingly, with the arrival of my son in November 2015, I largely said goodbye to hours-long Sunday trattoria lunches and leisurely evenings of aperitivos turned multi-course dinners. But with each month that passed after his birth, as I became more confident in my ability to handle whatever diaper explosion or ‘hangry’ meltdown my son might throw my way, I began to dip my toe into the – occasionally harrowing – experience of dining out with a young child.

No matter what the age or how well behaved, having babies, toddlers and young children as restaurant companions will never be the same as enjoying a meal out with other adults or older kids. Often – at least in my mind – the temptation to say “let’s just skip it” is great. At home, it doesn’t matter if unwanted food is flung to the floor or if my toddler is so caked in tomato sauce at the end of the meal that I need to transfer him directly from high chair to bathtub. However, I’m still the person who enjoys a good pizza napoletana and birra artigianale as much as I did pre-child, and who also wants to share that experience with my partner and child. So what to do?

Enter the “family friendly” dining establishment. In my experience, Italian restaurants generally do an excellent job of accommodating families. Most staff and fellow patrons don’t bat an eye at the sight (or sound, ahem…) of a small child in their midst, and many go out of their way to make you feel welcome and comfortable. Still, having a list of spots in my back pocket where I know I can find a highchair, maybe a changing table in the bathroom and – now that my son is fully mobile – a place where he can blow off some steam while we wait for our food to arrive, is often the incentive I need to get out the door. And hey, even if the night doesn’t go as planned, at least I won’t come home to a sink full of dishes! Unless they are still there from the night before…but I digress…

Here is a list, in no particular order, of places that I and other members of the Firenze Moms4Moms community enjoy taking our kids.

Fuoco Matto Pizza & Grill Restaurant
Via Ventisette Aprile 16 (Zona center – Piazza Indipendenza)
The ‘family friendly’ gold standard: highchairs, a changing table in the bathroom and a small play area with a couple of toys. Ample space in the dining room, excellent a/c to escape the Florence summer heat, and great food to boot – especially the pizza!
Telephone: +39 055 495140
E-mail: info@fuocomatto.it
Website: http://www.fuocomatto.it/
Open 7 days a week, 12 – 2:30pm and 7 – 11:30 pm; Closed on Saturdays for lunch

Pantarei
Via Vittorio Emanuele II 21r (Zona just outside of center – Ponte Rosso)
While Pantarei does not have a changing table or play area, they have several comfy highchairs and boast a strategic location about half a block from the lovely Giardino d’Orticoltura, which has one of my favorite playgrounds in Florence. Most importantly, the staff at Pantarei is incredibly welcoming and have treated us like family from our very first visit. The menu is fish focused, but they also have an extensive pizza menu and a few non-fish antipasti, primi and secondo.
Telephone: 055474191 – 3808634762
E-mail: ristorante@pantareifirenze.it
Website: http://www.pantareifirenze.it
Open Tuesday – Sunday, 7pm – Midnight; Open for lunch on weekends

Mama’s Bakery
Via della Chiesa 34r (Zona center – Oltrarno/Santo Spirito)
A favorite among expats and locals alike. This informal café is decidedly kid-friendly, with highchairs, a changing table and a ‘kids’ corner’ with games, books, paper and colored pencils for drawing. Food includes faithful reproductions of classic American bakery treats, bagels, American style sandwiches, quiche, yogurt and granola and American coffee.
Telephone: 055.219214
E-mail: info@mamasbakery.it
Website: www.mamasbakery.it
Open Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm; Saturday and Sunday 9am – 3pm

Coquinarius Ristorante Enoteca
Via delle Oche, 11R, 50122 Firenze (Zona center – Duomo)
Great food and an extensive wine list. Highchairs available, as well as changing tables in both the men and women’s bathrooms. Welcoming staff. Extremely central location. What more do you need? Reservations recommended (it’s possible to reserve online through their website).
Telephone: 055 230 2153
Email: coquinarius@gmail.com
Website: www.coquinarius.it
Open 7 days a week, 12:30 – 3pm; 6:30 – 10:30pm

PappaGioia
Via del Ponte Rosso 57r (Zona just outside of center – Ponte Rosso/Piazza Libertà)
This vegan café is a relatively new entry to the Florentine dining scene – and a welcome one at that! I’m not vegan, but everything I’ve eaten here has been delicious. They have a full Italian style coffee bar with non-dairy milks, smoothies and cold pressed juices, a divine selection of vegan cakes and sweets that my son loves for breakfast or ‘merenda’, beers and wine for the aperitivo hour, and a buffet style lunch and dinner service. Highchairs are available and there is a lovely garden area in the back. Staff are very friendly and welcoming.
Telephone: 055 0736316
Email: info@pappagioia-vegan.it
Website: www.pappagioia-vegan.it
Open Monday – Saturday, 8am – 10pm (summer hours)
Lunch buffet served from 12 – 2:30 pm, dinner buffet from 7 – 9:30 pm

Buonerìa/Fosso Bandito
Corner Viale F.lli Rosselli & Via del Fosso Macinante (Zona just outside of center – Porta a Prato/Ponte alla Vittoria)
Fosso Bandito, at the entrance to the large Cascine Park, has long been a favorite with Florentine families. This is a particularly nice spot to visit when the weather is warm, as there is a large outdoor playground on the premises, along with several small internal “piazzas” for open air dining. Fosso Bandito has hosted Buonerìa Restaurant since early March 2017. Excellent pizza napoletana prepared in four outdoor wood-burning ovens and a beer garden with several craft beers on tap. Highchairs and changing tables available.
Telephone: 055 365500
Email: info@buoneria.com
Website: www.buoneria.com
Open 7 days a week; Restaurant/Pizzeria open 12:30 – 3 pm, 7:30 pm – midnight; Bar open 8 am – midnight.

The Diner
Via dell’Acqua, 2 (Zona center – Santa Croce/Piazza San Firenze)
Another favorite among U.S. expats craving a taste of home. True to its name, The Diner serves classic and tasty diner fare. For families, it doesn’t get much better than this – highchairs, a changing table, a play area and a kids’ menu. Extremely central location.
Email: infoflorencediner@gmail.com
Website: www.thedinerfirenze.com (reservations available through website)
Open 7 days a week, 9 am – 11 pm.

Edi House Restaurant and Pizzeria
Piazza Fra’ Girolamo Savonarola, 8-9 R (Zona just outside of center – Piazza Savonarola)
An ample, reasonably priced menu, a large veranda for outdoor dining, highchairs and a kid-friendly atmosphere make Edi House an excellent choice for families. A good option in an area of town that is largely residential and lacking in an extensive selection of cafés/restaurants.
Telephone: 055 588886
Email: info@edihousefirenze.com
Website: www.edihousefirenze.com
Open 7 days a week, 12 – 3 pm, 7 pm – 12:30 am

RED Feltrinelli
Piazza della Repubblica n. 26/27/28/29 (Zona center – Piazza della Repubblica)
A good, conveniently located spot for a quick, casual bite. This cafè is located within the large RED Feltrinelli bookstore, which has an excellent children’s reading section with small tables and chairs. Just outside the bookstore there is a lovely carousel, and it doesn’t get much more central than Piazza della Repubblica. Open all day from breakfast to lunch, aperitivo to dinner, with a brunch menu on Sundays. Highchairs and changing table available.
Telephone: 199.151.173
Email: www.lafeltrinelli.it
Open 7 days a week, 9am – 11pm

La Cucina del Garga
Via San Zanobi 33r (Zona center – Mercato Centrale)
A vibrant, art filled interior and an interesting menu with many kid-friendly choices. Kids are given markers and encouraged to color on the white tablecloths – allowing parents to enjoy at least a few sips of wine “con calma” while you wait for your meal. Relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere.
Telephone: 055 475 286
Email: info@lacucinadelgarga.it
Website: www.garga.it

Trattoria Le Cave di Maiano – Fattoria di Maiano
Via Cave di Maiano, 16 – Fiesole (Outside of Florence)
A country oasis within a stone’s throw of downtown Florence. Trattoria Le Cave di Maiano has an outdoor playground next to the dining area, making it a top spot for children. A family-friendly and rustic atmosphere with traditional Florentine fare and beautiful views of the hills surrounding Florence.
Telephone: 055 59133

Fattoria di Maiano – Ristorante Lo Spaccio
Via Benedetto da Maiano, 11 – Fiesole (Outside of Florence)
Down the road from Trattoria Le Cave di Maiano is the lovely Fattoria di Maiano. Bring a picnic to enjoy on the grass next to the playground, or dine at their Ristorante Lo Spaccio. It is also possible to reserve an educational tour of the farm, which is home to many animals including geese, ducks, ostriches, goats, donkeys and cows.
Telephone: 055 599600
Email: maiano@contemiarifulcis.it
Website: www.fattoriadimaiano.com
Open year round

Casa del Popolo di Fiesole
Via Giacomo Matteotti, 25/27 – Fiesole (Outside of Florence)
As part of the “bambini in circolo” initiative, Fiesole’s Casa del Popolo has agreed to make this local branch of Italy’s extensive Circolo Arci network child-friendly. This location includes highchairs, a changing table and a children’s play area. The Circolo features a full menu with extremely competitive prices and has a beautiful terrace overlooking the Mugello hills. The circolo is easily reachable with public transport from downtown Florence – take the number 7 bus from Piazza San Marco and get off at the last stop. The club is a 10 minute walk from there through Fiesole’s charming center. The restaurant/pizzeria is run by volunteers and thus open only at certain times of the year. Call before going to make sure they are serving!
Telephone: 055 597002

Working Mom Stories: Kate Whalen

Kate Whalen, an Australian expatriate from Melbourne, living now in Prato with her husband and toddler son, has overcame the dilemmas that many face in finding a job in Italy. After arriving in Firenze, 7 years ago on a holiday trip, she met her Italian husband one night at a pub in Santa Croce, which would be changing her life forever.  Like for most Italian families, a dual income is the standard for family living and for Kate’s family there is no exception.  Through the 7 years of living in Italy, Kate, an aspiring woman, has attained a job she loves and is also in the process of creating a new startup business adventure.

Kate left behind her job as a restaurant manager, working for a celebrity Australian chef. Though she really enjoyed that job, she was not able to continue that type of work here in Italy. Those similar jobs require extensive Italian language, something that Kate did not have at the time. Kate earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Archaeology, but focused more on her Bachelor in English in her search for a Job in Italy. It was not long after she completed a TEFL course at a learning center in Firenze, that she was hired by the same center to teach English to local students. After 2 years at this teaching job, she developed enough experience to go out on her own and teach courses in Isolotto at a community center and elementary schools.   Three more years later, Kate started a freelance business with partita iva teaching Business English. She only works for companies on a contract-based salary conducted through a training agency or the company itself.  Because of bad work experiences with schools, Kate strictly conducts all her work for companies. Concerning her contracts, she has her “commercialista” draw-up the documents between the hiring companies and her. She states the terms of the contract and having this kind of document gives her a sense of security needed when dealing with an independent owned business.  Sometimes she gets a “lettera d’incarico” from a training agency where she has her commercialista check over its legitimacy.  How does INPS affect her contracts?

“INPS HURTS…..it’s expensive and I honestly hate paying it. Having said that, I did receive five months of maternity payments plus three months of half-maternity payments because I had paid so much in INPS the previous year. That’s the only positive thing I can say about my relationship with INPS at this point.”

She claims it is easy to get a Partita IVA, but the hardest part is paying the INPS and taxes associated with having a freelance type business.  She started with the ‘regime minime’, so she only paid 5% in tax the first 4 years, but that was when her yearly income had to remain under a certain amount. She states, “The problem is, people with the partita IVA don’t only have to pay taxes and INPS in June, but also another payment in November which is an estimated part payment of what you will be paying for the following year….. Confusing and annoying and sometimes a shock to receive.”   Though she has these contracts, most invoices are paid after 60 or 90 days, so budgeting and planning is important. With more ups than downs in her freelance business, she claims: “It’s the best decision I made regarding my teaching career here, and I haven’t looked back.”

I was curious as to how working has affected her family life.  Kate considers it as one of the best jobs in the world for my family, as it has flexible hours, no weekends, and no evenings.   Kate and her husband decided to place their child in “Asilo” at 5 months for two mornings a week.  She states her infant son benefits from going to the Asilo, “He loves it. He plays, learns and socialises, plus he eats incredibly well. And now that he is 17 months, he is happy to go every day.”

She might have her career of choice, but that has not stopped her from pursuing other business type adventures.  Kate is in the process of designing and implementing another wonderful startup business, created from her expat experience living and giving birth here in Italy. Kate had to go around and collect special items to have when she was going to be in the hospital and at home after delivery.  She says, “pads, nipple balm etc….the things no one really wants to buy and no one really talks about!”  She realized that it was many trips around to get the right items instead of a one stop bag with all the items needed. Kate states, “So I came up with the idea to create a pre packed hospital kit for mums to be. They exist in Australia, the UK and the US, so I’ve decided to give it a shot here. It isn’t a baby kit, this is just for mums and I think it could make a nice baby shower gift from friends or family.  Many of the products I have chosen are certified organic, biodegradable and recyclable. Much of the packaging has been recycled and has low C02s, so are more friendly on the environment than other products on the market. From my research, most people would prefer to throw away the items they use in the hospital, rather than bring them home, therefore it became apparent to me that I needed to create something with as little negative impact on the environment as possible.  In addition, most of the products are produced in Italy. So I’m going to give it a try! Watch this space!”

Kate Whalen came to Italy on a getaway vacation not realizing she would find the love of her life and start to raise a family all while being a motivated woman enjoying her career and creating another one with hopes to help other moms with their births in Italy.  She is a woman many expat moms could learn a lot from in their search to expand their career here in Italy. Just reach out your hands and go for it, it will happen.

Author: Kimberly Vanzi

 

I want to share my story:  Click here to submit to be interviewed.

Our different Groups of FMs4Ms Network

Our many Meetup groups that have been offered for years. Most are done by email through the sign up list and some posted on our facebook page and discussion group. Through these meetings it is great way to meet some other moms and have your children meet other children.

Our Meetup group: Mom’s Mingles other Big Events (Like holiday parties other information that goes to all members): run by volunteer Sheila Corwin and Kimberly Vanzi We post some mingles on the public Facebook page but if you are not on that one click: http://eepurl.com/b1QIaT ****Note The Moms mingles are just moms, but the holiday events are whole family events

Our Meetup group: Toddler Group (ages 1 to preschool): run by volunteer member Vicky Hallett to sign up click: http://eepurl.com/b1QHSr

Our Meetup group: Expecting Moms and Moms with Newborns (pregnant moms & children up until 1 year) : run by volunteer member Aida Musai These meetings are done by email and some events posted in the closed discussion group.  to sign up click: http://eepurl.com/b1QHIL

 

Tiramisu: The way I like it!

There are many Tiramisu recipes out there. It ranges from cake like to pudding
texture, very chocolaty to alcoholic. Well, I am big on the pudding-like texture with a
touch of chocolate and a splash of Vin Santo.

Ingredients:
bag of Lady finger cookies
1 cup coffee/espresso cooled (you can use decaf)
1/4 cup Vin Santo or Marsala (optional)
4 fresh eggs separated
500 grams Mascarpone whipped
1/2 cup sugar
dash of salt
cocoa powder to sprinkle on top

First you are going to want to beat the egg yolks with sugar, then add in the
marscapone and salt.

In the cup of espresso add the Vin Santo.  The alcohol is optional and you can use decaf as well.

Whisk the egg whites with a tablespoon of sugar, until they are stiff peaks.

Almost there!

And finished, glossy with stiff peaks

Take a small amount of the whites and add to the mascarpone mixture. Slowly fold
in the rest until you create a nice creamy pudding-like mixture. But try to keep it
light and fluffy, if you mix too much it will flatten.

Assembling:
In a medium size flat casserole dish lay a row of lady fingers, pour 1/2 cup of the
coffee (combined with the alcohol if using) over the lady fingers just lightly soaking
them.

Spread a layer of the mascarpone cream mixture. Take the next set of lady fingers and dip
the bottom of each one in the remaining coffee and place on top of the cream.

Cover again with the rest of the cream and sprinkle cocoa powder on top.
Refrigerate for at least an hour.


Enjoy!

Please donate to keep this Network

This is the monthly reminder that the FMs4Ms Network needs your help in donations to continue this network that was set up in 2004 to help expat moms in their move to Italy.

Thank you to the few moms that have donated to give us 100 euro which has helped to keep a few things going so far. We are completely a volunteer organized network without a collection of a membership fee, but unfortunately we do accrue costs to keep this network going. We lost our holiday events because we could not afford them. So we are asking you for a small donation to help keep this group up and running. The 2000 goal is there so that we can  have the network for the years to come. The money that is donated is going all to the network for all the different avenues we have to give you the information along with events to help you adapt to living here.

If you are a business reading this: We the option to post your business information on our visitor posting section on our Facebook page to our many followers, we are also asking you to offer a donation for this opportunity. For if this network closes down, you would not have it to post your lovely business that is related to the expat moms.

To donate just click the link. Your donation goes through your credit card as the amount you put enter. The charges are all on our end. https://www.gofundme.com/FMs4Ms-Network

Summer Camp registrations end the beginning of May for most places

Take a look at the summer camps I just posted on the Facebook page.

Many of the camps deadline for registration is the beginning of May. I hope you have already been looking.

If you know of other camps for the summer that I didn’t post please comment on the page under this post. Thanks. https://www.facebook.com/FMs4Ms/

Expat Working Moms: we are looking to interview you

Hi Moms,

I am looking for expat moms that are working here in Firenze.  FMs4Ms Network would like to interview you. This topic is an important topic for many moms that move here and are looking for jobs or need to make some income.  We want to know your story.

If you are interested in sharing your story, just fill out the form and one of our editors will contact you soon.

Please Help Support the FMs4Ms Network

As renewal time comes for all the Network essentials for keeping moms connected with other moms and giving out information for living an expatriate life in Italy, I am forced to realize how much financial obligation out of my personal account this Network entails. I feel this Network is an asset for the many moms and their families moving here to live in Firenze and the surrounding areas. Which is why I am asking for your help to keep all this alive. A small donation could go a long way.  Here is the GoFundMe link that will take you to the page of where you can donate. Thank you in advance for your help.

https://www.gofundme.com/FMs4Ms-Network