When Kate first left the United States for Florence, Italy, she somehow knew that it was going to be the start of a lifelong love affair. And she was right – since that semester of living in Florence as an exchange student, she’d instantly felt the magnetic pull of Italy, returning over and over again – until a permanent move to Florence was in order. Now that Katie has built a life for herself in Florence, she cannot imagine planting her roots anywhere else.
As a teacher and freelance travel writer, Kate Greenaway spends her time in Florence exactly the way she’s always dreamt it to be – teaching English, hanging out with local friends, discovering new parts of Italy she never knew existed, and writing about her beautiful adopted country.
For Kate, life in Florence is simple but fulfilling. She starts her day off in the early morning and bikes her way to the school. Florence is an excellent place to get around on two wheels; during her daily commute to work, she gets to whizz past traffic while soaking in the undercurrents of the city. She then spends the morning preparing for her classes before grabbing lunch at a nearby bakery/café where she either treats herself to some simple but outrageously tasty pasta or a piece of pizza topped with fresh zucchini.
Back in school, Kate usually teaches one class after another from 2pm to 8.30pm – most of her students are adults looking to improve their language skills, hence the late teaching hours. But Kate has no complaints – she loves her job as much as the country. “I love being able to witness my students improve with every lesson, it’s extremely rewarding.”
Work and Live in Italy
For Kate, finding a teaching job in Italy wasn’t too difficult – holding dual citizenship (English and American), she was able to apply for residency and working papers in Italy. Most Americans on the other hand find it difficult to get proper documentation to work in Italy. Kate advises anyone who wants to teach in Italy to get proper qualifications and start hunting for a job online months before making the move.
On her free days, Kate shares her love for Italy with the world through the internet. She’s the local expert for the popular Nile Guide Travel Florence website, where she writes travel tips, guides and local favorites. Weekends are spent exploring various corners of Italy or uncovering new parts of her adopted city.
Italy’s appeal might be magnetic, but without determination and serious passion, Kate wouldn’t be leading her dream life. To those who are chasing a life like this, don’t lose hope because you might just be the next Kate.
Photo | Kate Greenaway