Florence is unlike anywhere I have lived before. The main industry here is tourism, so it doesn’t seem like I’d find a traditional marketing job here. But that’s fine with me, I can get creative. Currently, I live in the City Center, which is where all of the tourists come. Many people think that Florence is only the city center, but in reality, there is much more to Florence. Although I love living here due to its central location and close proximity to my academic building, I think I’d want to get slightly out of the center if I lived here full time. One of my favorite piazzas, Piazza Santo Spirito, is right across the river, about a 15 minute walk from where I live. I’d want to live around there because it is a little removed from the main tourist spots yet there is still lots to do there.
One of my favorite pastimes is shopping second-hand. I love thrift shopping, vintage shopping, and frequenting markets both in Florence and back at home. If I lived in Florence, I would open my own second-hand clothing shop that targets my age range. I have frequented several vintage shops while in Florence, but the pieces are pricey. Although it is fun to look, I have not purchased anything at the vintage shops here. On the other hand, the markets are where I purchase a bunch of clothing. These usually open early in the morning, so I wake up before class and head over. Cascine market is my favorite, but it is a 35 minute walk and is only on Tuesdays. It is well worth it though, as most of the clothing I buy costs 1-3 euros. However, to achieve these finds, you must dig through piles of clothing, which is time consuming and quite exhausting once the temperature rises.
There is a gap in the market for a more affordable second-hand shop in the city center. My shop will feature a range of less expensive used clothing and some designer items at a relatively affordable price. That way, people can find reasonably priced items without having to dig through piles of clothing at markets, and they can accomplish this at any time of day, any day of the week. Maybe celebrities will come shop when they visit, and I can curate vintage pieces for them! My love for fashion and sustainable shopping coupled with my business background will make for an undeniably amazing second-hand shop.
If I lived here full time, I’d never stop exploring the markets. Unfortunately, some of them only run once a month or during the months I am not here, so I was unable to visit all of the ones I would’ve liked in my short time abroad. The markets are a great way to immerse yourself into Florentine culture, as mostly locals are the ones who frequent them. Exploring the markets has been one of the most authentic experiences I have had throughout my time in Florence, and something I’m going to miss when I leave.
– Alexis Hammer