Buon Venerdi All!

I hope you all have had a wonderful week! The weather here in Florence has finally started to cool down so that an autumnal feel is slowly, and incrementally, settling into our home (with the help of the Autumn Celebration Yankee Candle I smuggled in). I tell ya, I never thought I’d be so happy to wake up to a cold, gray morning. But dreary, chilly October skies are so perfectly seasonal, aren’t they? They erase all guilt of reaching for that second

October skies in Florence

cup of coffee and adding a sprinkle of cinnamon. And don’t even get me started on the delightful-ness of being able to wear a jacket or sweater without sweating.

But let’s not get too far off track here. This post is about working out in Florence. Or at least what working out for Rich and I is like is Florence.

And so we come to the EUI gym. A land of 1 elliptical, 1 bike, some free-weights, and maybe 3 weight machines (lifting machines? exercise equipment? I’ve just realized I have no idea what said machines are most commonly referred to as). My typical routine is to gym it during the day, usually during lunch hour(s). Namely because:

  1. Who doesn’t like a quiet gym? I’m super sweaty and it’s preferable to have as few witnesses as possible to the amount of water leaving my pores.
  2. The EUI gym has zero air conditioning. In the best of times, there are three small oscillating fans stationed throughout the space. In the worst of times, there’s an open window allowing entry for the 1,000 mosquitoes that live in the neighborhood.
  3. 1 elliptical. 1 bike. If a couple of people are in there, the first part of my workout involves self-induced cardio circuits. Fine, but really boring to do by yourself.
  4. 5 people fill the space that is the gym. With 10 people in there, you’re grateful for sunny skies as you schlepp some equipment outdoors.
the EUI gym

Our snapshot takes place during one of said times when there were 10 people inside the gym. You see, Rich and I made a mistake. We headed to the gym when he got home after work. But “after work,” is also when lots of people enjoy going to the gym. Cue the outside cardio circuits and inside sweating when availability opened up.

Brief aside that’s completely necessary for the next part of the story: One of the disappointing things about working out here is that the EUI doesn’t have (or didn’t to my knowledge) any workout classes. They have a running club but their first run, their lightest run, was 10km. They host yoga classes but in order to get there, I’ve gotta take 2 buses.

And now, back to Rich and I leaving the gym post 10 people, after work, work-out.

We walk out of the gym only to discover two individuals and a person, who one could only assume to be their instructor. They had mats. They had free-weights. They had water bottles. They were clearly a fitness class. My eyes popped and Rich immediately asked if I wanted to inquire as to what they were doing. We did. Here’s a modified version of how the conversation transpired:

Us: “How often do these classes take place?”

Instructor/class participants: “Three times a week! Two of the days are low cardio impact and one of the days is high cardio impact.”

Us: “What time do the classes start?”

Instructor/class participants: “Usually around 6. But sometimes that’s inconvenient for some of us so we start more like 6:30. Although I usually like it to start much closer to 7. And it only lasts about 20 minutes. Sometimes it’s an hour.”

Us: “How much does it cost for the classes?”

Instructor/class participants: “40 euro for the month/semester.”

Just to summarize for you here…

  • the class runs 3x/week
  • 2 days are low intensity, 1 day is high intensity
  • the class starts anywhere between 6-7pm, depending on what’s good for the individuals taking the class
  • the class runs anywhere from 20-60 minutes (or the 20 minutes feels like 60 minutes?)
  • the cost of the class is 40 euros for the semester, or for a month (obviously two completely different time frames)

We spent our walk home attempting to decipher this newfound information, chuckling over the clarity that was most surely lost in translation and adding this memory to our Italian box.

Hope your weekends are filled with escapades, exercise (should you want it), and good eats!

con amore,




One thought on “Exercising Escapades

  1. That’s hilarious! Having spend 10 days in Florence with you, it’s clear the Italian people are vague at best. They are high spirited with the best of intentions, but structure is lacking.

    Love you,
    Auntie Di.


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