After arriving in Florence, I could tell that I was in for a big culture shock. Not only do they take siestas and drink wine constantly, but they also have to pay to use the public restrooms. Some of the changes aren’t so bad though. Here’s some of my favorite parts of Florence:
- The Duomo – I can see the Duomo from my apartment window and it’s one of the most beautiful sights in Florence. Even when the bell wakes me up at 8 a.m., it’s worth the view.
- Food – All things food are amazing here. From the pasta to the paninis, you’ll love every bite. And of course, the gelato is just as good. It’s actually possible to get sick of pasta though, so when you’re in the mood for some food from back home, head to The Diner.
- Meeting new people – One of the best things about traveling is the different kinds of people that you meet. Whether they are other Fairfield students that you didn’t know previously or students from other schools, you’ll enjoy getting to know them. Make sure to meet some locals too. If you use Bus2Alps, a travel agency for students studying abroad, often, you’ll definitely become friends with the staff.
- Trips – While in Italy, it’s important to travel around to new cities, not just the one you’re studying in. Use popular tour groups to book day trips and even weekends. These trips are a lot of fun because you get to see all new sights and be in awe of the Italian culture.
- Views – Whenever I walk around, I find another beautiful sight. There’s art wherever you go. The views from the Ponte Vecchio and all along the Arno River are amazing; they’re all perfect picture opportunities.
- School – This isn’t actually my favorite at all, but I like how for class we walk around the city to learn. It’s much better than sitting in a classroom for two and a half hours. My professors have taken us to places that aren’t as well known by tourists and they include great artwork and interesting history.
- Shopping – The leather market is as good as Disney World. There’s so many cute bags to buy. As I walk down the street, there’s a lot of little stores that are perfect for getting souvenirs or gifts for friends and family.