Ciao, I am writing this post from my home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, my program was cut short because of the corona virus. Now that I am settled at home, I wanted to update my blog. After reflecting on my experiences in Florence, I wanted to share some of my favorite places (and restaurants too!) that made my study abroad experience so special. I compiled a list of my top three spots and restaurants in Florence.
My ultimate favorite place to visit in Florence is Piazzale Michelangelo. Piazzale Michelangelo is a square with an amazing panoramic view of Florence. The best time to visit it is during sunset. Around sunset, there are people performing and people gathered on the steps to enjoy the sunset. This square essentially represents the city of Florence: lively atmosphere where the community enjoys their beautiful city together. Watching the sunset over the beautiful city with my friends made me feel really happy and thankful to be able to live in Florence. It was moments like these that confirmed my decision to study in Florence. It makes me incredibly sad to think that this once lively square is now empty, but I know that once everything gets better, the steps will be full of people again.
My second favorite spot is the Ponte alla Santa Trinita, a bridge that is across the Arno river. I would cross this bridge multiple times a day to get from my apartment to the CAPA center or to get to the city center. This bridge connected two very different sides of Florence: on one side of the bridge is the city center that is busier with people and tourists and the other side is quieter where most Florentines live. I lived in the quieter area where most Florentines lived, and I would get to experience both “sides” of Florence. This bridge also has an amazing view of the Ponte Vecchio, a medieval stone bridge that has shops built into it. The sun hits perfectly on the bridge making it a perfect place to stop to enjoy the scenery and take pictures.
Lastly, I loved seeing the Duomo in the Piazza del Duomo when I was in Florence. The Duomo is probably one of the most well-known spots of Florence. It is located in the center of the city and is surrounded by restaurants, cafes, and shops. The Duomo sparked the Renaissance and it inspired artists all around the world. It plays a large role in Florence’s history and the intricate designs are beautiful.
I cannot talk about my favorite places in Florence without mentioning the amazing food and the best restaurants. My favorite restaurant in Florence is Osteria Santo Spirito. They make the most amazing homemade gnocchi with truffles and a cheese sauce. Next, I highly recommend Gusta Pizza, it is a famous pizzeria that makes heart shaped pizzas. The margherita pizza is amazing. Lastly, I really liked Ditta Artigianale, a café that is a great place to get brunch and study.
I am very sad that I had to go home early, but I know I will go back to Florence in the future.