Jolie is a Junior Exercise Science major at the University of Delaware. This summer she is spending six weeks studying in Florence, Italy with CISabroad. Join her as she discovers this beautiful city.
I’ve only lived in Italy for a month, but I definitely have had more than a months worth of food and activities. I was thinking of dedicating this blog post to the best things I have done, or have had in Italy.
1) The best weekend trip.
Every weekend either together, or with classmates, my roommates and I go on day trips and weekend trips. It is a good way to explore the rest of Italy and other countries while abroad. I would say the best trip we took was to Cinque Terre. The views were amazing (as long as you go on a sunny day). Every picture I took looked like it came off of a postcard, and there are beaches there too. There are 5 different towns to hit so it is a lot to do, but it is definitely worth it. You can even hike from town to town. If you are crazy adventurous and in shape, you can hike them all. My roommates and I only hiked from one town to the next, and let me tell you, that probably made up for the three weeks I didn’t work out. However, the aerial view you had on the hike couldn’t be beat. If you are lazy and just want to see the beautiful towns but not die over them, they are all easily accessible by train.
2) Best pizza.
Gusta pizza is the best pizza I have encountered. I personally went simple, a heart shaped pizza with tomato and mozzarella. But, Guy Fieri from the food network went here himself and had a salami and cheese calzone as well as pizza. This place is small, cute, but most importantly, delicious.
3) The best Gelato.
The best gelato is hard to find. Florence has gelato places on every single corner you turn. Make sure that you go to authentic and real places, though. If they are charging you 6 euros for what seems to be a normal size, it’s a tourist trap. If their gelato is stacked up extremely high, it’s probably a tourist trap. The best gelato I have had so far comes from GelateriaEdoardo right by the Duomo. They hand make their waffle cones right in the store. The second you walk into the little shop you can smell them. And, even for someone like me who is usually a cup girl, I couldn’t resist getting the refreshing gelato in the waffle cone.
4) Best view.
Now the best view in Florence would probably be a tie between the top of the Duomo, and the top of Piazzale Michelangelo. But, if I were forced to choose, I would go with the top of the Duomo. I chose this as the best view in Florence because it is rewarding. After climbing up all of those steps in a pretty tight space, you get the relief of the open air and the view of the whole entire city. Instead of waiting on line for hours to climb it, I definitely recommend getting a skip the line pass. This may cost a little extra but it definitely saves you time.
5) Last but not least, the best place to buy food.
The central market (mercatocentrale) is filled with Florentine culture. You can buy anything from meats all the way to fruits and vegetables. It is a good way to grab healthy foods and snacks, and experience a little haggling as well. And, right outside the central market is a lot of leather stands for you to stroll by and shop at as well. Never pay the marked price. If you do, you’re getting ripped off. If you walk away or say that you won’t budge, most likely they will give you the price you want or something in between.