Organizing My First InstaMeet in Florence

written by Tiana Kai
Instameet Instagram event in Florence Italy

What’s a great way to meet people in a (new) city that you live in or are visiting? By joining an instameet of course! Last weekend was the perfect time to join one, since it was Instagram’s 8th Worldwide InstaMeet A.K.A. #wwim8.

If you’re new to this blog then FYI I love Instagram. This inspirational app has brought so many good people into my life since I started using it with more gumption. It’s a place where I can share my passion for photography and connect.

An instameet is a chance to discover, create and share with other creative minds. So far I’ve been on instameets in Pisa, Florence and Rome…hopefully many more to come!

Organizing My First Instameet

Publish an invite

Once I saw Instagram’s post about the weekend’s global instameet a light bulb went on. I’ve been thinking about organizing an instameet for some time now, so this is perfect opportunity!

This global event kicked my butt in gear and before I knew it I set up an invite on MeetUp and posted a pic with #instameetflorence details. Thanks to @cucinadigitale for helping me spread the word!

*Check out another wwim event I organized in Jackson Hole, WY!

Partner up

I really wanted to offer all the Instagramers a nice Tuscan end to #instameetflorence… with treats like a few bottles of Chianti Classico, cheese plates with walnuts and honey, freshly sliced prosciutto and an ambiance with the perfect emo/folk mix of music among brick walls and a red meat slicer. Ya!

There’s no one better to call but my favorite wine bar in town, Il Santino! They also have some fun posts on Instagram, so I thought they would want to partner up with me.

Meeting point, with great views!

Our group of 10 met at Hotel Crode di Malta where we took a few shots by the pool and then up on the terrace with panoramic views of the duomo and surrounding hills.

It’s where we took a group shot! This flag is 12 years old, so I’m finally putting it to good use.

Discover Florence

We walked across Ponte alla Carraia taking shots of birds flying by Ponte Vecchio then we walked along the river to San Frediano where there’s a little path leading down to the water. Side note, would that be a levee, a river bank? We were all trying to figure it out!

It was fun to see the city from below, read random muted graffiti and find a space large enough to take liquid landscape shots. I had fun getting up-close to the cascade, something I’ve wanted to do for months.

Wine and prosciutto please

Some Italians—not naming names here—were hungry, so we stopped at L’Trippaio di San Frediano for lampredotto and panini. Those who were saving their appetite for later ate up the fun little corners filled with beat-up bicycles, hanging laundry, vespas passing by and antique shops.

We eventually hit our final destination at Il Santino. We slipped into our seats and were served by Filippo and Nina who were ready for our hungry group.

Wine was served and we cheersed to an amazing day. Then like any good little Instagramer we started editing photos while sharing stories and getting to know each other better.

Cheese drizzled with honey was smacked on Tuscan bread hitting my tastebuds in one slam-dunk. The prosciutto was…well I don’t have to describe how amazing prosciutto is.

The #instameetflorence crew

Thanks again to the #instameetflorence virgins—those who said “screw shopping and watching TV today, I’m gonna meet people and Instagram Florence!”—and to Instagram for pushing us to see things in another light and to do it as a community!

Below are Instagram shots from the official crew during #instameetflorence.

Tianapix, that’s me! Here’s my shot of Niccolò catching some air with Ponte Vecchio in the background.

Niccolò is the man I married on the 4th of July in 2012 and ya he’s pretty awesome.

Costanza is one of my favorite smarty-pants women in Italy! She. Is. Florentine. And has great jackets.

Nadia’s from Connecticut and is my sister from another mister who’s been living and working and rocking in Florence for nine years.

Ivo’s a nice guy from Elba. We almost named this tour #instaIVO, maybe next time!

Krista’s from California and has been living in Florence for more than 5 years and claims that her husband makes one killer Bloody Mary!

Fiona is a new design student from South Africa, who can’t wait to spend a year soaking up Florence!

The Florentine is an English newspaper who joined us for the ride.

Lara was pleased to break her diet and indulge with us at Il Santino.

Lyneth is Fiona’s mother and is helping her settle into Florence while enjoying mother/daughter time.

@notmynonni is a photography project I started last year, so this account joined in too.

Thanks to @CletAbraham for making a late—better than never :)—appearance for some wine and prosciutto.

Another big thank you to the gang at Il Santino for making us feel welcomed and treating us to some amazing food and wine. It was the perfect ending to a great meet-up!

I had an incredible day with everyone and look forward to discovering more of my city along with Instagram.

Keep gramming,


Have you been on an instameet before? Share your Instagram stories with me!

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Ivo Riccio January 13, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Okay, waiting for next time, for a real #instaivo tour 🙂

Tiana Kai January 13, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Of course, the real #instaivo! This will take months to prepare. 🙂

Becky Padmore January 13, 2014 at 4:38 pm

What a great idea, shame we weren’t around but maybe next time! Love all your instagram photos by the way 🙂

Tiana Kai January 14, 2014 at 11:04 am

Thanks, it was a global meet up, so there must have been one by you guys. If you see the #wwim8 shots on Instagram you’ll see lots of groups made it out over the weekend. Instagram is amazing at growing their community!

Tiana Kai January 27, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Thanks for passing by Lucy. Your comment was in spam b/c of your link. FYI you don’t need to spam your comment since Disqus already has a link in your profile. 😉

Lucy January 27, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Oh, oops haha. Thanks for letting me know, have only just started using Disqus! x

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