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First Impressions of Florence

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Although this is not my first time in Florence, this is the longest I have stayed in the city. The beauty of Florence is absolutely undeniable to anyone who walks around the historic center for even just minutes. Everywhere you turn, there is something new and stunning. It is unlike anywhere else. Of course we notice the Duomo, Santa Croce, Santa Maria Novella, Piazza Vecchio, the Ponte Vecchio, etc. But, there are many little things that can also catch your eye as you walk around and explore. These little things combined with the big things make Florence absolutely breathtaking and one-of-a-kind. Every time I see something new, I fall more and more in love with this city.

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Pictured: a little drawing on a wall, an artist drawing the Mona Lisa on the street using nothing but chalk, and heart stickers stuck to a wall.

Cheesecake from Four Leoni

Cheesecake from Four Leoni

But one of the experiences that obviously had the greatest first impression on me was the unbelievable food. Everything you eat is homemade, made with fresh ingredients, and cooked to perfection. I have always called myself a cheesecake connoisseur, but I did not even know what real cheesecake was until I had my first piece here in Florence. The cheesecake here is so fluffy, has a perfect graham cracker crust that doesn’t even fall apart when you stick your fork in it, and is usually topped with fresh berries or chocolate sauce–and we’re not talking Hershey’s syrup. The chocolate sauce itself is so decadent that I’m honestly tempted to lick the remaining sauce off my plate when I finish my cheesecake. Then there’s the pizza. The pizza has perfectly thin crust, chewy and never too crispy or burnt. Almost every restaurant has at least a page of different pizzas to choose from and that is usually one of the most difficult decisions of the day! The fresh mozzarella that tops every pizza melts into perfect little chewy moist blobs and the saltiness of the cheese helps to flavor the whole pizza, although the cheese itself actually usually doesn’t cover every part of the pizza like it does in America. I’m so lucky that I still have two weeks left and I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life when Gusta Pizza is no longer a five minute walk away from my apartment.

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Pictured: mini cheesecake and mini cannoli, caprese salad, cafe freddo (iced coffee- trust me, try it), gelato, pork francese, spinach, ricotta, and mozzarella pizza from Gusta Pizza.

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