In case you didn’t pick up on the fact that I’ve been abroad from my last posts, I’ll remind you. I studied fashion for exactly four months in Florence, Italy. Anyway, I have some friends who are currently studying there for summer session, so I figured I’d talk about some of my favorite day to day pastimes in case they are looking for something fun to do. I’ll try to keep it interesting and avoid the basics, but some things you just can’t not do.
- Sitting outside the Irish Pub by the Duomo, having a drink, and people watching
Towards the end of my time in Italy, tourist season was coming into full swing. It was so fun just observing people as they take in the sights that have become normal to me. The Irish Pub had great happy hour deals and I’d spend multiple hours at a time there enjoying the view. Great spot.
- Bringing a bottle of champagne or wine to Piazza Michaelangelo
The classic outlook point in which every person who visits posts a picture of. It’s a must see, and I’ll be honest, it’s the header on this very page you’re looking at. Pictures really don’t do the scene justice, and going up there at sunset is a whole different level of beauty. Also, the whole “no open container laws” thing is pretty great.
- Getting lost
I mean this with all sincerity. Take a new path to your favorite coffee shop, or walk in the complete opposite direction of where you know the layout. Simply explore. The architecture in this city is absolutely unreal, and some of my favorite pictures from the past semester are of random alleyways. Trust me, you’ll end up somewhere familiar before you know it and can make your way back home. Just live a little and enjoy the city you’re surrounded by.
- Eating on the second floor of Mercato Centrale
I was fortunate enough to live in the central market, so it was a no brainer for me to check it out. However, from friends who have been in previous semesters, apparently it’s an unknown goldmine. The food in there is incredible, and so ridiculously cheap. I found myself eating there multiple times a week. It baffles me that some have never even heard of the place. It’s a shame really. But my advice here is to eat the pulled pork sandwich from the one artisan stand. It’s the bee’s knees.
- Getting gelato and sitting on a bridge
There are a lot of gelato shops around town, as well as many bridges to choose from to sit upon. As far as gelato goes, just make sure it doesn’t look like a colorful mountain in its container, and you’ll know it’s the real deal. Flat and ugly, that’s the good stuff. As for the bridges, I think my favorite would have to be the one West of Ponte Vecchio. Ponte Vecchio is Florence’s most iconic bridge, and the first one to connect the two sides of the river. It’s super colorful but also super busy and doesn’t give much of a view of the Arno itself. That’s why I liked having Ponte Vecchio behind me while I sit on the next bridge over. It’s quite the spot.
I think before I get too in depth here, I’ll keep this post short and sweet. I might make one at a later time including all the restaurants, cafes, and bars I frequented the most so for now, this is the end. The biggest piece of advice is to try to find something new to do each day. Florence is an incredible city with a little something for everyone, so make the most of it!