Little had I known there would be so much in store for me in 2016. By far this year has provided me with so many opportunities- one of my luckiest being studying abroad in Florence, Italy. I always knew I wanted to study in Italy. I grew up in a large Italian Jersey family. With that said, pasta was a usual occurrence for dinner. The food alone was why I wanted to go but little did I know I would fall in love with the culture, people, beautiful history and way of life.
When studying abroad, especially in Italy, eat everything you can. Don’t be afraid to try that weird looking dish, or order something off of the menu you’ve never heard before! Most importantly, never miss the opportunity to grab gelato. Believe me, you’ll miss going down your narrow apartment staircase, walking the historic and beautiful streets to wait on line for that mind boggling goodness of gelato.
Trattoria ZaZa- Head over towards Piazza del Mercato Centrale for a great dinner filled with yummy homemade pasta.
Panini Toscani- Take a walk around the Duomo and stop by Panini Toscani to get a panini that you’ll barely be able to fit in your mouth! This restaurant allows you to even try the meats and cheeses you want before you pick what you want.
La Beppa Fioraia- Not many know about this place because its not in the “Via De’Neri” section where most students study. I reccomend trying this place out for either lunch or dinner after a trip to Piazza Del Michelangelo. They have an outdoor section with grass and trees (if you’re missing greenery) and a bright/vibrant feel inside. FYI the pizza is amazing.
Ditta Artigianale- If you’re looking for a great place to study with a cappuccino in hand or enjoy a hot tea (they use real tea leaves) with a yummy piece of cake I recommend this cafe. They have free wifi and many locals go, plus it’s right on Via De’Neri, close enough to class.
Edoardo il Gelato Biologico- Not only is the gelato at Edoardo’s absolutely amazing, Beyonce even went here! My absolute favorite flavor was cannella (aka cinnamon). It tasted like a snickerdoodle on steroids. Heads up the line can get pretty long so I wouldn’t recommend going on a Saturday!
Gelateria Dei Neri- Locals love the gelato here. It’s in a perfect location and the smallest cone only costs 2 euro!
Here is my last piece of advice- never waste a moment you’re there! Looking back, it all seems like a whirlwind dream. Take a few friends and walk the streets at night (Piazza della Repubblica is breathtaking at night). Skip class one day to go shopping at the leather market or *Brandy Melville*. Instead of sleeping in, wake up to see the sunrise at Piazza Michelangelo- the best part is you’ll get to smell the croissants being taken out of the oven on your way back. Do as much as you can because this is your one time to do it. My foodie self wishes I was there with all my heart, so enjoy my favorite city, Florence.