Top 10 Things to Do While Studying Abroad in Florence, Italy
Experiencing Florence Through a Study Abroad Program
Your bags are packed, your passport is in hand, and you’re ready to set off on a journey that will change your life forever. By choosing to study abroad in Florence, Italy through the Marist-LdM program, you will be receiving a first class education both in and out of the classroom. Here are 10 things to do and see while studying abroad in Florence, Italy.
1. Piazza Duomo
Built in the early 1300s, this architectural masterpiece is a must-see for those studying abroad in Florence. The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, known as Duomo, is the metaphoric historical center for this history-rich city. Inside, you will find over 750 works of art spanning over 720 years, including sculptures from the medieval and Renaissance eras. Admission is free, though there are small fees to ascend the dome and bell tower.
2. Michelangelo’s David
No doubt you’ve seen countless pictures of this immortal piece, but here is your chance to see it up close and in person. This famous sculpture is part of the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence, which houses many other works by Michelangelo, as well as works by renowned artists from the Gothic and Renaissance eras. Tickets are available online by visiting http://www.galleriaaccademiafirenze.beniculturali.it/.
3. Uffizi Gallery
Noticing a theme here? The historical art found in Florence is beyond compare, and the Uffizi Gallery houses some of the greatest works the Renaissance has ever seen. Names like Botticelli, Raphael, Leonardo, and Michelangelo are found throughout, making this a can’t miss for any art or history lover. What’s more, the grounds also include the world-famous Boboli Gardens. Special tours are available, and tickets can be purchased by visiting http://www.uffizi.beniculturali.it/index.php?it/171/gli-uffizi.
4. Ponte Vecchio
You’ve probably seen covered bridges, but have you ever seen a bridge covered by apartments and shops? The Ponte Vecchio, located on the Arno River, is one such bridge. Once the center of Florence’s gold and jewel trade, the Ponte Vecchio now houses shops, cafes, and even apartments. It's a quirky piece of history, and a great photo opportunity.
5. Piazza della Signoria
The Piazza della Signoria houses Loggia dei Lanzi, an open-air, free museum designed in the 14th century. Here you will find dozens of sculptures to peruse at your convenience. Though not as expansive as other museums in the other, the lack of a price tag and ability to walk at your leisure makes it very appealing to students studying abroad.
6. Mercato Centrale
All of this museum walking is sure to make you hungry, and when it does the Mercato Centrale is a great place to find fresh, local produce. Here you will find cured meats hanging, a wide selection of fresh cheeses, and of course, a beautiful array of olive oils.
Once you’ve had dinner, it’s time for dessert. Gelato is an Italian staple, and Florence offers a vast selection from its many shops. Click here for a top 10 list of the best gelato shops in Florence.
8. Boboli Gardens
As mentioned above, the Boboli Gardens are a world-famous attraction that you simply must see. The gardens offer breathtaking views of the city, and there’s even an olive grove to enjoy. It’s a taste of tranquility you won’t find anywhere else in this bustling city.
9. Medici Chapel
If you’re wondering what the LdM in Marist-LdM stands for, it’s for Lorenzo de’ Medici, an Italian statesman and ruler of the Florentine Republic in the mid-to-late 1400s. The Medici Chapels are two structures in the Basilica of San Lorenzo. The basilica was built for the purpose of celebrating the Medici family. This is both a beautiful work of architecture, as well as a way to honor the family whose name adorns the Marist-LdM program.
10. Get Out of Florence
Florence is the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, which means it’s surrounded by sweeping countryside, olive groves, and farms that have been active for centuries. When the city becomes overwhelming, remember you’re a short trip away from tranquility.
Experiencing Florence through a study abroad bachelor’s degree program will expose you to far more than just a new campus to earn your degree. By surrounding yourself with historical art, exotic cuisine, and architecture that has stood for centuries, you’ll earn an education that cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world.