It seems like taking a trip to Italy is on every travel junkie’s bucket list. I mean, for being world renown for exquisite wine, high-end fashion, rich history, and stunning natural beauty, there really is no wonder why Italy seems to have a charismatic and addicting charm. And let's not get started on the food… just thinking about the ever abundant gelato, pizza, and pasta will get my mouth watering at the thought.
When one of my best study abroad friends invited me to spend the weekend at her house in Florence, I knew that I was in for a special treat. In my mind, Italy had some overwhelmingly high expectations based on all of the films and books that have been inspired by Italian charm. Luckily for me, those high expectations were not only met, but also greatly exceeded.
Arriving to Italy from Spain seemed ridiculously easy, after a mere 2 hour flight our plane hit the tarmac at the humble Firenze Airport. Twenty minutes later we were pulling up to my friends house in the rolling Tuscany hills just outside of Florence. At this point in my study abroad program, you can only imagine how amazing the word “home” sounds. Not a cost-savvy hostel, not an overly crowded AirBnb, but an actual house! We were thrilled at the freedom to be as loud as we wanted and took the opportunity to really settle in.
Florence as a city is absolutely marvelous. It is one of those places where people go to spend a week or two and then find themselves changing travel plans to stay a few more months. The whole city seems to catch a glowing light and radiate a golden warmth within the cobblestoned streets. It is also the perfect walking size and extremely easy to navigate. We spent hours walking around the city, loosing our breath to the sight of the Florence Cathedral, and popping into every other gelato shop (which is about every block). An absolute must in Florence is trekking to the top of the Duomo. Although, the line may be miserable to endure and the 463 steps to the top are not for the faint of heart, the view at the end makes it all worth it. I cannot imagine a better panoramic view of city known as the “Cradle of Renaissance.”
Not only is Florence a great destination for history, museums, and culture, but also a thriving student hotspot. Serving as one of the top destinations for international students, the nightlife of the Italian city will surely not disappoint. We found ourselves making it out to a number of ever crowded, lively and buzzing bars and clubs.
Only a weekend in Florence, truly doesn’t do the city justice. On our last day we took a hike around the property where we stayed. As we meandered through the vineyards on the Tuscany hillside, we tried our best to take it all in. The weekend undoubtedly was the sweetest taste of all that Tuscany has to offer. I’m already looking forward to coming back for seconds. Until next time, Italy!