Some of my Favorite Lesser-Known Spots in Florence
Lauren, Spring 2024, Florence
April 16, 2024

If you’ve been studying in Florence this semester, you’re probably familiar with the classic study abroad spots, like Red Garter, Pino’s and Lion’s Fountain. In attempts to make the most of my time in Florence, I’ve been visiting more local places to get the most out of my experience in Florence. I’ve compiled a list of a couple additional spots that are must-sees in our last month before we head home!

Trattoria San Lorenzo is a quaint little restaurant right next to the San Lorenzo church that feels like a real authentic Tuscan dining experience. This place is a hidden gem and my favorite dish here is the onion soup. I don’t even like onions or soup, but this was so delicious, I highly recommend! The ambience of the restaurant was very cute and felt like being in an Italian home.

The Atlantic Pub is a cozy bar with a charming nautical theme. It is mostly a local spot, which I appreciated because it can feel strange to go out to an American bar in Italy. They also host a beer pong competition every Wednesday! I lost pitifully but the decor and drinks here were delicious.

Piazzale Michelangelo is self-explanatory. You’ve probably been here before, but the view never gets old. As you battle the never-ending steps to this iconic viewpoint, prepare to be mesmerized by the panoramic views that stretch as far as the eye can see. Bringing a bottle of wine with friends and listening to live music is the best way to spend a weekday evening.

Bell Tower Views!

The Bell Tower of the Duomo is another great spot for a panoramic view of the city. It’s quite an athletic adventure to climb all the steps, but the breathtaking view of the city and the roof of the Duomo is so worth it. With your ticket, you can also go into the Duomo Museum and see the original Baptistery doors, which were so beautiful.

Melaleuca Cinnamon Roll and Iced Latte!

Melaleuca is a cute little café on the Arno renowned for its mouthwatering cinnamon rolls and pastries and refreshing iced coffee. You can sit on the ledge, soak up the sun and drink your coffee with your fresh cinnamon roll. I wish I could do this every day, such a good vibe.

New Bridge Pizza!

New Bridge Pizza has the most perfect pizza I’ve ever eaten. I’ve come back for seconds and thirds here, I order the Pugliese pizza with a Hugo spritz, and it is to die for. The pizza is so crispy, fresh and flavorful, with a refreshing spritz, it’s just the best. And the restaurant itself is super cute and modern, with a green and black color scheme aesthetic.

Pitti Palace Fashion!

Palazzo Pitti is a majestic palace that I didn’t realize was packed with rich history, fashion and art. You’ve probably been to the Uffizi and the Academia Galleries, but this museum is also a must see! Within its walls, you become immersed in a world of Renaissance era beauty, with exquisite paintings and captivating fashion exhibits. Palazzo Pitti was such a cool experience. Also, there’s a huge garden outside to soak up the Italian sun!

Overall, my best advice is just to wander around the less populated streets and explore the real Florence, as opposed to just sticking to the tacky tourist traps. Florence is such a gem and there is so much to explore here, and I hope you enjoy my recommendations!

Written by: Lauren, Spring 2024 Florence student from University of South Carolina

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