By: Kendall Minaldi
A Florence travel guide, study abroad style.
I had the incredible opportunity to spend the spring semester studying abroad in Italy! A few of my best gals and I flew to Florence, feeling anxious, nervous and beyond excited to study fashion in our dreamy new home. I quickly found the many hidden gems that this city has to offer and am excited to act as your virtual tour guide! We all know that Italy is a renowned center for cuisine, and the heart of it lies within the Tuscany region where Florence is settled. Here are my picks for places to wine and dine:
For pizza, Il Pizzaiuolo. Go with the classic margherita or spice it up with the diavolo!
For brunch, get cozy at La Menagere. A trendy restaurant with a welcoming atmosphere, this quickly became one of my favorite spots - Think Urban Outfitters meets Free People, plus food, live music, flowers galore and funky decor. Meet friends for brunch or take yourself on a coffee date between classes!
For a quick bite, stop at Pino’s. A small, unassuming panini shop that boasts amazing flavor and quality that doesn’t break the bank. I recommend: The Tuscan.
For gelato, Rivareno. I definitely ate my fair share of gelato, so I’d say that I am pretty well-versed in what makes good gelato. My personal favorite: Crema Buontalenti. Because Florence is a popular study abroad city, it offers great nightlife! End your night at:
Michael Collins, an Irish pub with a cool tavern vibe. Be sure to order their signature drink, “The Gaylord”.
Space was our favorite nightclub, or “disco”, where you can dance the night away!
Dragonfly is a relaxed spot to grab a drink with friends or order to go from the walk-up window and sit on the patio! Florence brims over with art, culture, and history. Each nook and cranny of this place has something to indulge in, so here are a few of my favorite places to explore:
Piazzale Michelangelo. Grab a bottle of wine and some friends to watch the sunset and catch the best view of Florence.
Gucci Garden, created by Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele. This museum houses all things Gucci, its Florentine history, current collections, and expertly curated art. Don’t mind if I move in...
The Duomo. This cathedral is the city’s center, making it nearly impossible to go anywhere and not get distracted by its beauty! Book a time to climb to the top of the dome for priceless views.
Shop the leather markets. Florence is known for its leather products, so now is the time to buy that leather jacket you’ve been coveting! Little did I know, our time would get cut significantly short due to the COVID-19 outbreak. As heartbreaking as it was having to say goodbye to a place I had fast fallen in love with, I also gained irreplaceable memories and friends that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I’ll miss how the city smelled like a combination of rain, leather, waffle cones and cigarettes in the best way. I’ll miss the cobblestone streets with its scattered “ciaos”, hustle and bustle, and dogs. I’ll miss my apartment and Via Martiri del Popolo, 25. However they say that studying abroad teaches you a lot and the greatest lesson I learned, even in my shortened time, was to make the most of each moment as you’re living it. Cherish the little things, squeeze your pals tight, and be present. Ciao for now (and remember to wash your hands)!