This post is long overdue! I studied abroad in Florence for a month in 2013 and it seems crazy that it was already 2 years ago! I put together all of my favorite places as well as some tips and tricks. I fell in love with Italy while I was there and I can’t wait to go back again. Hopefully, this post won’t be too photo heavy! I took hundreds of photos so it’s been hard trying to narrow them down!

You can read each of the posts talking about my experience here:

Study Abroad Week 1

Study Abroad Week 2: Uffizi & Cinque Terre

Study Abroad Week 3: Worst Day Ever

Study Abroad Week 4: Venice & Boboli Gardens


Duomo -This was my favorite place in Florence, it’s basically in the center of everything so usually we’d look for the Duomo and navigate from there. I still can’t get over how beautiful it is. It’s a great place to just sit on the steps and people watch. Also, I’m super disappointed that I never got a picture of myself in front of it the whole time I was there.

Boboli Gardens – We didn’t check out the gardens until the end of the trip and it was nice to hang out in the grass since there isn’t much in Florence! It made me feel a little less homesick and I took a lot of photos while I was there. There’s a lot of beautiful greenery & statues. The first picture in the post is inside the gardens.


Ponte Santa Trinita Bridge – A few times we would just sit on this bridge at night and hang out. It was a lot quieter with less tourists around. It was right next to the best gelato place in Florence (see below) so we’d usually sit on the bridge and eat our gelato.

Ponte Vecchio – One night a few of us put lock on the bridge and instead of throwing my key in the water like they did, I kept mine to give to whoever I end up with. I might never give it to them but it was just something fun we did as a group. 

Walk Around at Night – Some places it might be dangerous to walk at night but the locals usually go on a passeggiata at night and you should definitely participate at least once.

San Miniato – The church is beautiful like every building in Italy but the main reason you need to visit is the amazing view of Florence. It a bit of a hike but so worth it. There is also a little store rum by the monks of the church with handmade soaps and a few other things.

{source – left} – {source – right}


Gelateria Santa Trinita – THE BEST GELATO IN FLORENCE! I went to a lot of gelaterias while I was there for the month and this one was definitely the best! I have not stopped craving gelato from here since I left for the last time. (If you go, you should send me some strawberry gelato from here. It’s the one kind they don’t have in stores here! I’ve been craving it like crazy.)

Bellamia – The gelato at this Gelateria was different than a lot of the gelato places I went to but it was still really good! The lady that owned it, hand makes the gelato every morning. I’m not saying that the other places don’t though, we just talked to the owner one day about it because the flavors seemed to change every day.

Gusta Pizza – The best pizza I’ve ever had in my lifetime. The worst part about it was that I didn’t go until right before we had to leave so I only ate there once! I went with a group of girls and they guy drew a heart on the receipt which would tell the cooks to make out pizza heart shaped. Side note: I just found a recipe for the pizza provided by one of the cooks at Gusta Pizza, and it was no where near the pizza I had there.

Heart shaped pizza! Best pizza I’ve ever had! #italy

A photo posted by Emily Finta (@theemilyfinta) on

Everywhere – You might notice my restaurant list is a little small but really, pretty much anywhere you eat has amazing food so I just stared my favorites. We also ate in a lot because we did need to budget our money. Try going to a supermarket and cooking in if you have a kitchen. There was a supermarket that had amazing spinach & cheese ravioli but I cannot remember the name of it. I even tried going on Google Maps and “walking” the streets in the area I thought it was. There it a lot of different foods in the stores and really good snacks!

Across the Bridges – The mores touristy spots in Florence are on the side with the Duomo, so if you are looking for a quieter place to stay, go across the bridge. It was crazy how different it felt just by staying in a different area of the same town.

If you read my posts from my study abroad trip, then you know my MacBook was stolen during the trip. We were staying on the corner of  Piazza di Madonna degli Aldobrandini. I considered not saying where it was but I wouldn’t want you to stay in the same building and have it be something that happens a lot. Especially since the police just look at you like stupid Americans and don’t do crap. My hair brush, a dirty cardigan and a bunch of my roommates things too (clothes, camera, laptop, perfume, etc.).


Converting Money – My bank didn’t  charge me to take out money as Euros so instead of going to the exchange places all around town where the rate would change daily, I went to one of the banks in Florence and just withdrew money from my account!

Watch For Pickpockets – My Roommate got her wallet stolen in a store a week before we got our stuff stolen in our apartment. Worst part was, it was on the same block as the apartment where we got out stuff stolen. It was at Tutto 99 Cent, so be careful! You should definitely get a crossbody bag with a zipper, I got one from 31 where the wallet was built-in to the back of the bag where no one would expect (They don’t seem to make the bag anymore though).

Expect to Walk Everywhere – I was in a bus the day we got there to take up to our apartment and then a taxi the day we had to move apartments for the whole month I was there. You could probably rent a car but riding in that taxi was super scary! I felt like we could’ve gotten into an accident 10 times, I couldn’t imagine driving there if you aren’t a local. Remember to bring some good walking shoes!

Even with the stolen stuff and pick pockets, it’s still worth going to Florence! I fell in love with it while I was there and I’ve been dreaming of going back since I left. I’ve spend an hour on Google Maps just navigating around the city and pretending I was still there.


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