By Jamie Santarella
I spent five weeks of my summer studying in Florence, Italy, and even though it might've felt like hell with 105 degree weather and no air conditioning, it was nothing but a dream.
After five weeks of exploring, getting lost, and then finally finding my way, I feel like I know Florence like the back of my hand. Here's my Florence travel guide, by day and night, in case you ever find yourself in this magical city:
It goes without saying that if you're in Florence, you need to visit the Uffizi Gallery, Medici Palace, Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral / Piazza del Doumo, and Ponte Vecchio. They are the staples of a historic and cultural tour of Florence. If you are looking for something different after checking those out, try:
For the fashionista: Gucci Garden
Gucci Garden is a museum dedicated to the Gucci brand. It's housed in Florence since Gucci was created there! The clothes and accessories on display are from the Gucci archives and are switched out every couple of months. Students also get in for FREE with a student ID.
For the adventurous one: Climbing Brunelleschi's Dome
I am not one for hundreds of steep steps in hot weather, but the view is so worth it in the end. You have to book tickets for a certain time beforehand (I recommend going late afternoon, its not as hot), which are only 18 euro each. Bring a bottle of water and enjoy the view!
For the foodie: Pino's Sandwiches
Every meal and ingredient is made/bought fresh daily at Pino's. Pino and his family are the kindest, most welcoming people in Florence. They make great food and give great hugs.
For the romantic: Piazzale Michelangelo
Piazzale Michelangelo can be seen at any time of the day, but I found it to be even more captivating at sunset, and so did the three people that proposed while I was there. Grab some Gustapizza to go on your way and watch the sun sink behind the Firenze countryside.
For the life of the party: The Lion's Fountain
An Irish pub in Florence with ceilings covered in U.S. college/university t-shirts who's bar and booths are occupied by American students? Yes, it seems out of place, but it's tons of fun. Stop by to watch a soccer match and make some friends or just to find your school's t-shirt!
For the Instagrammer: View on Art
View on Art is a rooftop restaurant and bar that has one of the best views of the city. The proximity of the Duomo alone makes it an Instagram-able spot. Book ahead of time because it's popular!