This past weekend, my parents visited me in lovely Florence, and we went to all of the must-see places in the city! For those who are looking to visit Florence, I have some recommendations for you from this weekend and thus far on my study abroad experience. My top three places to visit include Piazza Michelangelo, the top of the Duomo, and the Boboli Gardens. My favorite place to go and sit is Piazza Michelangelo, a lookout point that has a panoramic view of the city. Although it is a bit of a hike to get there, I have gone five times just to watch the sunset. It is a very popular destination for other students to relax and enjoy the view with their friends. I also highly recommend climbing to the top of the Duomo. You have to buy tickets in advance, and it is well worth it. I have climbed up all 463 steps twice now, and they lead to amazing views of the city from such a high point. On the way up, you also get the chance to admire from up close the inside of the Dome which depicts Vasari’s painting of the Last Judgment. Last, I recommend spending a day in the Boboli Gardens, a park located directly behind Pitti Palace on the opposite side of the river. Here, I loved spending time walking around admiring the beautiful trees, flowers, fountains, and Roman antiquities.
In Florence, you really cannot go wrong with food choices. Although it is all good, some of my favorite places include Gusta Pizza, Il Gatto e la Volpe, and 4 Leoni. If you like pizza, you must go to Gusta!! I have gone twice, and it is a casual atmosphere with amazing wood fired pizza. My favorite flavor has been the pesto margarita. Il Gatto e la Volpe, which translates to The Cat and the Wolf, is also a favorite of mine. They are a local restaurant with amazing service and food. Last, if you are looking for a fancier meal, I would recommend 4 Leoni. Their special is the pear gnocchi, which sounds like an odd combination but it is a must have! To end the night with dessert, my absolute favorite place for Gelato is called Gelateria Artigianale La Strega Nocciola. I liked it so much that I got it twice in one day! I tried the pistachio and chili dark pepper flavors which did not disappoint.
My final recommendation for those who are wanting to visit Florence is to take time to walk around and relax. You never know when you may come across live music or a hidden coffee shop. It is important to remember to look around and appreciate your environment. Florence is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to and I wouldn’t want to miss any of it by following too tight of a schedule. Enjoy the moment!