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What They Don’t Tell You About Studying Abroad in Florence, Italy

  1. Ready…Set…Walk!

Make sure to pack comfortable shoes because by the end of your stay in Florence you’ll most likely have the legs of a Florentine soccer player. While you can basically walk anywhere in the city in fifteen minutes or so, your steps are going to add up quickly!street

  1.  Your Second Favorite City, Conad

The only city more crowded and lively than Florence is none other than Conad City. With close to 3,000 stores in Italy alone Conad is every study abroad student’s go to. Packed no matter what time of the day it may be, it can be extremely overwhelming the first time you go grocery shopping. When buying fresh produce, be sure to head over to a computer to label it and keep in mind at the deli counter that “one pound of prosciutto” at home is actually “450 grams of prosciutto” in Italy.

 

  1. Wining and Diningimg_7451

In the United States, we are accustomed to saving a few dollars by having water when we’re out to eat. However, water comes in bottles to share amongst your table in Italy. The good news is tipping is rare. Rather, ‘coperto’ is added to your bill, commonly thought to be as a cover charge per person at a restaurant anywhere between two and five Euros depending.

  1. Connection…Error

Unfortunately, the Wi-Fi connection around Florence is not nearly as strong as we are accustomed to at home and you will figure this out quickly. Save your data as much as possible by going on Airplane Mode whenever possible (especially while you’re sleeping!)

  1. The Unspoken Business

Public restrooms are few and far between. Most bathrooms you come across will come with a small price to pay. It is also very common for apartments to have a bidet, so if you really want to embrace the culture here, you may consider trying it out.

While these may just be routine adjustments you will make while studying abroad, a completely new lifestyle can be overwhelming at times. Make the most of it and live like a true Florentine!

Kaitlin Crocilla

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ktcrocilla
Ramapo College, NJ

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