Studying Abroad in Florence

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    Ah Florence! It’s the birthplace of the Renaissance and home to some of the world’s most recognizable art and sculpture – namely Michelangelo’s David. And then there’s food and gelato. It’s fun to simply wander the Florentine streets, sip on an espresso, listen in to the beautifully lyrical Italian language and watch the world go by. Once you’ve found la dolce vita, try these five fun things when studying abroad in Florence.

    1. Eat Too Much Gelato At the Gelato Festival

    The quality of gelato in Florence is superb and it’s easy to consume several scoops each day. But the mother of all gelato experiences happens during the Gelato Festival. Held at the end of May, you can taste gelato to your heart and tongue’s content. Head to the Piazza Pitti and Piazza della Repubblica for midday to midnight gelato celebrations and watch as gelato masters from across the country create their sweet treats using every ingredient imaginable.

    2. Buy Produce at the Cascine Market

    The Cascine Market is located along the famous Arno River. Open every Tuesday from 8am until 2pm, it’s your chance to rub shoulders with the locals. After saying buongiorno, source your fresh fruit, vegetables, and flowers and look at a range of clothes, shoes and other items in this lively market. Fig season is particularly spectacular and you won’t find better basil – perfect for salad caprese. The earlier you get there, the less crowded it is. Bellisimo.

    3. Visit A Secret Bakery

    Can there ever be a secret spot in a popular city? When it comes to Florence’s bakeries, well, perhaps it’s about simply following your nose. Florence’s secret bakeries come alive at night as they prepare goodies for the next day. There’s one located near Santa Croce Via del Canto Rivolto. Wend your way through the streets until you find a frosted sliding glass door. Be warned, there are no signs. If other people are there, wait until the baker comes out before placing your order. If no one is waiting, knock at the door and wait. You’ll be salivating when these treats are placed in your hot little hands. Another secret spot is near Piazza Indipendenze on the Corner of Via delle Ruote and Via San Galo. Again, the entrance is small and unassuming. Watch for other people and use your nose. Choose from cornetti, sfogliatine and small pizzas. Prego.

    4. Enjoy the View from Piazzale Michelangelo

    Enjoy the best view of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo. Take a car, bus or walk to the square that affords spectacular views of the city. You’ll be able to spot all the famous landmarks including the Ponte Vecchio and Duomo. While you’re there, see copies of Michelangelo’s famous David and the four allegories of the Medici Chapel of San Lorenzo. You won’t be alone – it’s a popular tourist spot.

    5. Take a Cooking Class

    Italians are famous for their cooking with Tuscany boasting its own distinctive flavors. Step into a 13th century kitchen, use the best Italian produce, follow Nonna’s secret recipes and create dishes you can use for the rest of your life. It’s an ideal way to gain insights into the Florentine culture and the best part is eating the fruits of your labor. Many schools offer quality classes. Buon appetito.

    Studying in Florence is not just about language but lifestyle. Savor the sights, sounds and flavors in his historic and beautiful city and learn how to live the good life. Find out how to study abroad in Florence.