10 Reasons why Florence is the Best Place to Study Abroad
Brigitte, Florence, Spring 2017
May 10, 2017

These are my 10 Reasons why Florence is the Best Place to Study Abroad:

Best gelato
It’s no surprise that Florence has the best gelato in Italy (and in Europe), considering the fact that it was invented in Florence! I think that this is on the top three things of what I’m going to miss the most about Florence.  La Carraia will always have a place in my heart and everyone needs to try out their gelato, even if they’re only in Florence for a day.

Best food
Whether it’s a panino from All’Antico a pizza from Gusta Pizza or homemade pasta from Buca Mario, there is no debate that Florence has the best food around. I have traveled to several other Italian cities and can say this very confidently. Additionally, the many markets that are scattered throughout the city have the freshest fruits that I think I have ever eaten.

One of the best pasta meals I’ve ever had. Quattro Leoni is a must try.

Most beautiful views
Aside from the food, Florence is simply just a beautiful place to study abroad in general. I pass the Ponte Vecchio everyday on my walk to class and let me tell you, it never gets old. The building and architecture in Florence is extremely interesting and the Duomo is a site that I will never stop being amazed at. If you get the chance, a must-do is the climb to the top of the Duomo and (on another day) a climb to the top of Piazza Michelangelo for the best views of the city.

Ponte Vecchio

Everyone is nice here
You know the stereotype of a warm, welcoming Italian family? When I came to Florence I finally understood this. I have gotten lost my fair share of times and the Italian in Florence have always been extremely nice to me. Honestly, no matter what you are talking about the Italian are always willing to help you—just try to remember to make an effort to speak their language.

The language is easy to learn
If you are worried about completely immersing yourself in a country where you don’t know the language, no need to fear! I did not speak one word of Italian and now am able to get many of my ideas across. It definitely is not a hard language to learn and if you have a background in Spanish or French it will be infinitely easier.

Easy to travel to other countries
Many people who study abroad like to travel to many other countries while they’re in Europe and I really recommend this. Italy is in a very convenient location to get to many other countries that people usually go to!

Other places in Italy are beautiful and unique
One of the main reasons that I came to Italy in general was because there was SO many places in Italy that I wanted to see. Italy has so much to offer and Florence is right in the center of it all.

You are completely immersed in the Italian community regardless of the fact that there are tourists
Another reason I came to Florence was because I wanted to see what a typical Italian city looked like. Florence was founded hundreds of years ago and historically very important. It was so interested to me to live in a classic Italian city that was the home of some of the most talents and famous artists and sculptures of their time.

Il Duomo

They have the best clothes that you could find
This was something that no one told me about (but I could’ve guessed). I now realize that the reason Italians dress so well is because they have access to the most beautiful and high quality clothes. I bought two leather jackets during the first week that I was here and I am so happy about it. The leather markets in Florence are unbeatable and the quality is unlike anything that I have seen in our cities.

View of the city from the Boboli gardens!

There is always something to do and a way to enjoy yourself
There was never a time that I was bored in Florence. Every street is cute and unique in its own way that I’m still mesmerized when I walk through them. If you want to sit down and relax you can go to the beautiful Boboli gardens or sit on the rocks by the river near Carraia. If you want to just go into the city and hang out with a friend, Florence has the cutest coffee shops.  Make sure to try out Ditta Artigianale!

– Brigitte was a spring 2017 SAI Florence student from Boston University

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SAI is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. We concentrate our programs in Europe, with a focus on in-depth learning of individual European countries and their unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and in the arts.