Milan Furniture Fair-Tour and Explore

Milan Furniture Fair

Watch Milan be transformed with the International Furniture Fair

Filled with unique objects from talented new designers and well-known companies, the International Furniture Fair is a showcase for interiors. The Milan Furniture Fair first made its appearance in 1961. The idea behind it was that it would be a way to promote Italian furniture and furnishing accessories on the export market. The goal was accomplished and today the fair attracts visitors from all over the world to see the latest in home furnishings.  It is the largest trade fair of its kind showcasing the latest in design furnishings from around the world.

Every year hundreds of designers showcase thousands of products for every sector of the home ware market. From lamps to knives, there is something incredible to add to each home.

The 2013 Fair was attended by 285,698 trade operators, 193,024 of them were from foreign countries, over 38,000 members of the public and 6,578 communication operators. The fair exhibits the newest designs in furnishing at top quality.

Don’t miss out and join the next International Fair in Milan April 8-13, 2014 when Milan itself is turned into a showcase.

If you are looking to go behind the scenes to this fair, join our Tour and Explore program as Italian Architect Katia Santuccio takes you around in the fair. You will see Milan and the fair through another set of designer eyes!

For more information, check out our program: Milan Furniture Fair Tour and Explore Program

Florence, Christmas Tree

Christmas in Florence, Italy

Christmas Activities and Events

At Go Inspired, we have many programs in Florence, Italy during the summer. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do in the winter as well! With the holiday season approaching, Florence has tons of events to make you get into the spirit. From German Christmas markets to a beautiful Christmas tree, Florence has something for everyone.


Check out this list of activities from The Florentine by Rose Mackworth-Young   (issue no. 193/2013 / November 21, 2013)

Christmas fairs and markets

British Institute Christmas Fair

Arts, crafts, books, gifts and food in the Harold Acton Library. December 13, 3-6pm, The British Institute of Florence, Lungarno Guicciardini 15,


German Christmas market

Warm up with mulled wine, strudel and hotdogs and admire handmade Christmas gifts from all over Europe. Until December 15, 10am-8pm, piazza Santa Croce,


The Magic of Advent

One of the biggest Christmas fairs in Tuscany: hot food stands, Father Christmas, market stalls, 1000 nativity scenes and more. December 15 and 22, Palazzuolo sul Senio,


Emergency market

Charity market to raise money for Emergency. Food, wine, toys, natural cosmetics, artisan products and more. Until December 24, via de’ Ginori 14,


Festival of Fusigno

Welcome in Christmas Day by eating sausages and drinking local wine round a huge bonfire in the centre of Londa. Evening of December 24,



Giovedì al Quadrato

Create a handmade Christmas decoration for free in the courtyard of Palazzo Strozzi, accompanied by live music. December 12, 7.30pm,

Toscana Winter Park

All ages will enjoy this array of winter sports, as well as food, drink, exhibition stands and entertainment for children. Until March 2, 2014, Obihall, Lungarno Aldo Moro,


Skating rink at the Parterre

Enjoy some festive ice skating over the Christmas period. Until January 6, 2014, 8am-11.30pm, Parterre, piazza della Libertà,


For children

Christmas with the elves

Meet Santa and his elves, taste cakes by Mrs. Claus, listen to music, go on donkey rides and check out the market stalls- all in the historic streets round Pisa’s Logge dei Banchi. Until December 24,


Santa’s Grotto

Meet Santa and his elves, and take part in a series of creative activities such as cake making, drawing and horse riding. Until January 6, 2014, Castello delle Terme Tamerici, Montecatini Terme,



Concert by the Fiesole Music School

Christmas concert in St James Church. December 13, 5.30pm,


Zumpa & Balla

Get out your Rudolf nose or Santa hat for this crazy Christmas fancy dress concert! December 13, 9.30pm, Viper Theater, via Pistoiese/via Lombardia,


The King’s Singers

English a cappella group in concert. December 16, 9pm, Teatro della Pergola, via della Pergola 18,


Christmas readings and concert

An evening of festive readings with music by the concert choir of St Mark’s Anglican church. December 18, 6pm, The British Institute of Florence, Lungarno Guicciardini 15,


Christmas Concert by the Maggio Musicale

Music by Bach and Scarlatti, and tradizional Christmas songs from the Choir of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. December 19, 8.30pm, Auditorium S.Stefano al Ponte Vecchio, piazza di S. Stefano 1,


Christmas concert at St James Church

Concert by The French School in Florence. December 19, 7.30pm, St James Church, via B. Rucellai 9, T 055294417,


Concert at the Natural History Museum

Il Tempio delle Muse, by the University of Florence orchestra. December 22, 12pm, Natural History Museum, via Romana 17,


Music in Santa Croce church

Christmas concert by the Piccolo Coro Melograno children’s choir. December 23, 6.30pm,


Orchestra della Toscana

Christmas concert including suites from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet and Ponchielli’s Dance of the Hours. December 24, 5pm, Teatro Verdi, Florence,

Religious Services

Advent lessons and carols

Traditional musical service followed by parish lunch. December 15, 11am, St James Church, via B. Rucellai 9,


Nine Lessons and Carols at St. Mark’s Church of England

December 22, 6pm, via Maggio 16, T 055294764,


Christmas services at St James American Church (Episcopalian)

Christmas Eve: 6pm Parish Eucharist and Christmas Pageant; 11pm Christmas Midnight Mass. Christmas Day: Eucharist at 11am. St James Church, via B. Rucellai 9, T 055294417,


Christmas services at St. Mark’s Church of England

Christmas Eve: 5.30pm Evening Prayer; 11pm Christmas midnight service. Christmas Day: 10.30am Sung High Mass of the Nativity; 5.30pm Said Mass. St. Mark’s Church of England, via Maggio 16, T 055294764,


Nativity Scenes

Christmas in the World: A collection of over a thousand nativity scenes from all over the world, displayed in the Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie in San Giovanni Valdarno (AR). Until January 6, 2014,


Other towns known for their nativity scenes displayed in their historic centres are Palazzuolo sul Senio, Cerreto Guidi, San Godenzo, Calenzano, Castelfiorentino and Cigoli (most of them remain at least until January 6).

Nativity re-enactments

Several towns put on re-enactments of the Christmas story, involving hundreds of residents and animals, and large parts of the historic centres, and bringing to life the angels, shepherds, oxen, Wise Men and, of course, the magical manger scene. Towns hosting these so-called ‘living nativity scenes’ include Casole d’Elsa (, Rosignano Maritime (, Lari (, Barga (, Ceretto Guidi ( and Castiglion Fiorentino (

We hope you enjoy the holiday season in Florence, Italy. Thanks to the  Florentine, Christmas in Florence 2013

Summer Trip to Spain for Students

Living in Castellon, Spain

Moving to Castellon, Spain when I was newly 26, became quite the journey. After a long flight, I got myself and all my luggage to the Valencia train station. Sweating, tired and arms hurting from trying to maneuver all my bags, I got to the kiosk to buy the ticket. Luckily there was an English option but when looking through my destinations, I couldn’t find Castellon. Hmmm that is strange I thought. One option said “Castello” but after so many hours flying, I was afraid to choose at it didn’t match my destination. So I had to drag all my luggage to the line and wait there and then mumble my way to getting a ticket to Castellon. Apparently, Castello is Castellon, but in the Valencian language. The start of what would be many language challenges over the years.

The first few weeks in another country are usually stressful trying to navigate the system, understanding the cultural faux pas and just trying to figure out everything in your new life. Although it wasn’t my first time living abroad, it was quite an eye-opening experience. Fruit stands and tiny hole-in-the-wall bars at every corner, old men playing bocce in the park, groups  of friends both old and young alike drinking beer outside in the terraces. Breakfast consisting of coffee and toast or some small biscuits, later to be followed by 4 more meals including one “bocadillo” around 11. A sense of frustration that when you are free to do shopping, every place you want to go to is closed. Being able to let go and taking a siesta in the afternoon. Getting used to the fact that it appears that everyone is obsessed with ham-and wheew…how many types of ham there are to learn about. Or eating with a group of Spaniards and the meal lasting for more than 3 hours and everyone keeping their napkins on the table (as opposed to what we Americans have been taught-that your napkin on the table is rude).

Bocadillos de Jamón

“Bocadillos de Jamón” By: Javier Lastras

I learned so much from my years in Spain. I was always a law-abiding citizen in the US, respecting the police, following the rules of society. After being in Spain, slowly over time I adapted  to the relaxed way of looking at rules. If I could pay cash for something or “under the table”, I didn’t even bat at eyelash.  I learned about myself, how set in my ways I was and how I was so used to American society. I learned about my own country and how people view it from outside. I learned that non-Americans don’t really care about what is happening in the US. I also had a chance to reflect on where my beliefs came from which is always a healthy thing.  In the end, I learned how to live in a completely different culture than I had spent the first 25 years of my life doing. I got used to having lunch at 2 and dinner at 9 or 10. After 3 years, I finally started seeing Spaniards for who they were and how they lived with all their nuances. I started understanding why people said they had “their village” but lived in the city during the week.  Though I still don’t enjoy eating paella on Sundays as much as the locals, I did come to enjoy going out on Thursdays to a street that was filled with tiny rectangular bars, having tapas and beers and not spending more than 10 euros.  I enjoyed seeing families and children and older people (oftenly referred to as the Third Age “tercera edad”) sitting in plazas and just enjoying life at all hours of the day.

There is something so beautiful about the Spanish culture. There is a strong sense of family and friends, having meals together. There is not as much stress as in the US. People don’t often play on their phones when eating out. Villages and local fiestas take center stage. In some ways it is like going back in time (people still pick olives and make their own olive oil or mushrooms during the mushroom picking season) with all the benefits of living in the 21st Century.  Going to Spain at 26 helped shape my life forever and I certainly will be grateful for all that Spain has showed me.

To see the beauty I was able to experience, check out this short video on the province of Castellon.

Castellon, Spain

My path

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.”

– Rosalia de Castro

Lessons Learned From Traveling The World

You know that here at Go Inspired, we want YOU to travel. Why? We really think the question should be Why Not!

Reasons to Travel

  • Traveling teaches you to live an adventure
  • Traveling helps you encounter passion
  • Traveling allows you to get some culture

So you have a thirst for traveling but are afraid of making that first step. Well we understand that. That’s part of growing and doing things a bit out of our comfort zone. But we guarantee that when you take the leap, you will be rewarded and will learn some pretty valuable lessons along the way.

Some things we have learned at Go Inspired after our years of traveling:

  • Pretty much everyone, no matter where you, go wants to just enjoy life, hang with friends and family
  • Each country and culture has positives and negatives
  • You learn something new every day
  • You could bring back many ideas to your country to improve your country
  • Cool products that you can’t buy at Target or the mall do exist in other places

We found a great article in the Huffington Post about the 20 things a blogger has learned from traveling. We agree with most of them and we are sure you will find it interesting. Check it out.  20 Things I Learned From Traveling Around the World

Before living in Italy, read this!

As Americans, we think we know the Italian culture. We eat at Italian restaurants all the time. We know Italian families or have Italian grandmas. But going and living in Italy may bring about some cultural shocks. We advise our travelers to be open when they are traveling. We came across this great article about surprising things for Americans in Italy. Italy is amazing and when you are there, you will be able to live all things Italian.

Surprising things for Americans in Italy

Every city…

“Every city has a sex and an age which have nothing to do with demography. Rome is feminine. So is Odessa. London is a teenager, an urchin, and this hasn’t changed since the time of Dickens. Paris, I believe, is a man in his twenties in love with an older woman.”

– John Berger

How would you categorize a city you have traveled to? We would love to hear from you! Feel free to comment below.