With less than a month left of the fall semester left in Florence, it can be agreed that time flies when you’re having fun. In three short months I have visited six other countries, countless cities across Italy, but in doing so have taken Florence, my home during this time, for granted. With classes three days a week and traveling the other four, Florence has merely become a place to go to class, do laundry, and rest between weekend trips. Now with less than a month, it is crunch time to do the things that all study abroad students have laughed at tourists doing during our stay here.
First and far most, climb the Duomo and the Bell Tower. Any study abroad student knows that if you want to get caught behind herds of tourists with their flags, microphones, and selfie sticks this is the place to go. However, it should be at the top of your Florence bucket list! Fifteen euros will grant you access to the top of the Duomo, the Bell Tower, the Cathedral, the Baptistery, the Crypt, and the museum in a forty-eight-hour pass. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, because at the end of the day I racked up fifty-seven flights of stairs according to my phone!
The best time to climb the bell tower is in the morning, when it opens at 8:30 am with very few tourists and clear skies, and then you can immediately get in line for the dome which opens at 10:30. The views are unbeatable, plus you can always reward yourself with gelato at Don Nino’s afterward!
Having hiked to Piazzale Michelangelo my second day in Florence in ninety-five-degree weather, while jet lagged, it’s no wonder I neglected such a beautiful place in Florence. With a panoramic view of Florence, Piazzale Michelangelo is by far the greatest spot to watch the sunset, or even the sunrise! It’s the perfect spot to sit on the steps with friends, a bottle of wine, some bread and cheese, and reflect on the greatest three months of your life.
With the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei, Niccolò Machiavelli, Basilica di Santa Croce is another must see before leaving Florence. Completed in 1385, the basilica has sixteen chapels. Visitors can also stop into the leather school during their visit to watch artisans craft leather goods.
Someone once told me the only man you will need in Florence is David, and they were not wrong. The Galleria dell’Accademia is home to Michelangelo’s David, which is visited by over a million people every year. Standing tall at seventeen feet, David embodies the art, history, and culture that Florence has to offer. Much smaller than the Uffizi Gallery, the Galleria dell’Accademia has a variety of sculptures, paintings, and much more.
Other activities to cross off your Florence bucket list as your time comes to an end include: window shopping on the Ponte Vecchio, hitting all of your favorite pizza, panini,& gelato shops one last time, having a Spritz at aperitivo, signing your college’s shirt at Lion’s Fountain, buying anything leather, singing karaoke with your friends at Red Garter, riding the carousel in Piazza Repubblica, drinking enough (or more than enough) wine, rubbing the wild boar’s nose to see when you will be back, and enjoying every second!