When I received word that The Florentine was hosting an aperitivo to celebrate their 100th edition, I immediately marked it down on my calendar. I couldn't wait to celebrate the paper that has been a joy to read since it first started back in 2005. I don't think I know one single English-speaking person living here who doesn't read it. For tonight's aperitivo I assumed that many people I knew would probably be there, and I wasn't wrong.
With the outburst of a brief hailstorm and then heavy rains early yesterday evening, I had thought that maybe I didn't want to walk over to Piazza Pitti for the aperitivo. Fortunately by the time I was about to leave our apartment, the sky cleared up and I raced out the door to pick up my friend Lisa.
When we arrived at Caffè Pitti, the terrazza (terrace) was already full of people standing on the sidewalk sipping prosecco. Many people were hovered around a table filled with appetizing tidbits to eat while other people were standing in line to get a glass of prosecco or vino bianco (white wine). There was an amazing mix of fiorentini (Florentines), students, and expats representing our English-speaking community here in Florence.
I enjoyed meeting up with people I hadn't seen in a while as well as friends I had hoped would be there. I stayed with my friend Cheryl for the dinner served after the aperitivo. We sat next to each other at a large table near the front of the restaurant, and were happily surprised to be eating in the company of many of The Florentine's staff members.
I enjoyed speaking to the people who work behind the scenes at The Florentine. I had previously had contact only with the editor, Alexandra, so it was nice to talk with some of the others like the executive director, Marco, the copy editor, Ellen, the news editor, Brenda, and the layout designer, Cathy. They were all so gracious and warm to enjoy a dinner with.
I hope there will be more aperitivi like this in the future so that we can all meet up again. It was truly a lot of fun to celebrate The Florentine because it has become a part of the expat experience in Florence. May the next 100 editions be filled with more insights and information about our beloved city and the people that make it so interesting.
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