As a college student, I love saving money. Studying abroad does not make it easy to save money because of all the traveling opportunities and activities within your city. However, among the many cities and countries to travel to, restaurants to eat, and stores and shopping centers to go to, there are fun and exciting things to do for free!
One of the most popular things, for natives and study abroad students a like, is to watch the sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo. Piazzale Michelangelo is probably the best place to do this because of the fantastic view you have of the whole entire city. This is a great thing to do one evening with friends and roommates! To heighten the experience, you can bring food and drinks of your choice! It is also a great way to get to know more native Florentines.
Florence is one of the main epicenters for art and art history in the world. The best way to take advantage of this is by going to the many museums in the city. This becomes even better if you can go for free. During the low months of tourism (October – March), state museums are free every first Sunday of each month! I’m so lucky to have been able to take advantage of these opportunities and spend first Sundays museum hopping! It’s a great way to save money, see the different museums, and have fun!
However, the art of Florence isn’t just in museums! I personally really enjoyed finding street art that popped up alongside buildings and stores. As an art fanatic, I think it gives an interesting twist to the old city. While running my daily errands, I made a point to take photos of cool street art and paintings that caught my eye. While you are out and about or intentionally exploring the city, take a few moments to admire the beauty around you.
To see some nature (while also getting a workout in), I suggest taking a walk or run to Le Cascine park with a friend! The park is alongside the Arno river and is absolutely stunning! Many people ride their bikes, run, walk their dogs, or just take a relaxing stroll. If you walk far enough, there is a mini carnival and a massive field, where you can lay out and relax. This is a great way to see some of the parks Florence has to offer, while also taking a break from the city life for a bit.
I am so grateful to have been able to get to know the city I studied in intimately. It is the little things that you discover and come to cherish when looking back on this experience down the road. These experiences can be as grandiose as a weekend trip or as simple as taking a walk in the park that make your time abroad priceless…literally!