I’ll admit that when I signed up with AIFS for a summer abroad I was in a rush. I closed my eyes and clicked on the computer screen. Florence, Italy was the city I landed on and I knew right away that it was meant to be. I have traveled to Europe many times but Italy still remained uncharted territory. It only took me a day to fall in love with Florence and a week to figure the city out. I’m going to share my five favorite things about Florence:
1) Piazza de Michelangelo
A famous square on top of a hill overlooking Florence, this is without a doubt the most beautiful view of the city. Grab a pizza and have a seat on the stone steps to watch the sunset. Take pictures, take in the view, and sit back and listen as an Italian man serenades you with 90’s cover jams
2) Secret Bakery
You know the melt in your mouth taste of a freshly made Krispy Kreme donut? Yeah, this place puts that to shame. Even some of the locals don’t know about this hidden gem. If you find yourself on via Benchi around midnight look for one of these bakeries around the corner from the Red Garder (look for a line random line of silent college students). Try keep it hush hush while waiting for your one Euro delicious treats because they will throw water on you!
3) Statue of David
Words cannot describe the beauty of this marble statue. Go see it once, twice, ten times. No judgments. David is gorgeous!
I was surprised to find out that Florence is the shopping mecca of Italy. Gucci, Prada, Pucci, Louis Vuitton, and many more world renowned designer stores surround the Piazza de Republica. Stop in at Zara, it quickly became the favorite store for everyone to shop at.
I’m not one for ice cream in the states, but this frozen dream should be a sin! Gelaterias are the Starbucks of Florence; they have one on every block. Stay away from the stores that sell it piled high as it is mass produced and does not taste nearly as good as the real thing! My favorite places surrounded the Duomo. The Italians eat this tasty treat daily, they treat it as a coffee break, so feel free to indulge in this delicacy whenever your stomach desires!
Note: my picture is of mass produced gelato but that’s just because it looks more artsy!