5 Reasons Why You Need to Study Abroad in Florence

By Emily Rose

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The Nightlife

Okay, so like any other college student on a Friday night you’re probably going to be getting together with friends and going to the bars and clubs. Lucky for you, Florence has an amazing bar and club scene! You’ll find 90% of the college students in Florence at The Lion’s Fountain Pub which is a 7 minute walk from the Duomo. The inside is decorated with the t-shirts of American colleges and the walls are tattooed with the signatures of various college students who have called Lion’s their second home while in Florence (it’s a right of passage to sign the wall). If you go to Lion’s then you’ll have to check and see if they have a shot named after your college and if not then you get to make one for your college! Also, you might as well try a ’Sex on the Duomo’ while you’re there.

The Secret Bakeries

You heard right. Littered throughout Florence are little bakeries that open up at 2am to bake for the cafe’s of Florence and feed those who are making their way home from the local bars and clubs. These bakeries are on random streets in Florence and you can only find them by word of mouth, or with the help of a Florentine police officer who will be able to sense your desperation for the baked goodies (true story).  The bakeries sell freshly made croissants and other sweet delicacies that fulfil that drunken craving that we have all had for something warm, sweet and that will most definitely clog the arteries. Ask and sniff around until you find them! (But if you want to avoid the fun of searching for a bakery yourself, check out this blog that lays out the destinations of all the secret bakeries in Florence…you’re welcome)

The Food

This goes without saying, but the food in Florence is SO DAMN GOOD. I bet you’re thinking, “But Emily, isn’t all of the food in Italy great?” and you’re not wrong. Florence is a food lovers dream so if you love to eat then you’ve found your city! If you don’t absolutely love to eat then I cannot help you. You are a lost cause. All of the food is great but the best place is a small, cheap pizza place on the other side of the Arno called Gustapizza. This pizza will make you weep tears of joy and believe that true love does exist…but in the form of pizza. And to make things even better Guy Fieri has visited Gustapizza and said that it was the “real deal” so, like, you gotta listen to the mayor of flavortown on this one.


If you’re one of those hippies (like me) who loves eating locally grown food that is real tasty, then check out the Mercato Centrale. It’s a two story market in the middle of Florence that changed my life. The bottom floor is a full on market that has fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses and pretty much anything you could ever dream of. The second floor is all little stalls and restaurants that serve some of the best food for a relatively low price. They have vegan and vegetarian options which is a nice change for when your body just can’t even deal with the thought of another margherita pizza or spaghetti bolognese.

The Art and History

Florence is one of the cities in Europe that is overflowing with culture, art, and history. The two main galleries in Florence are the Uffizi and and the Accademia. These two are the homes to the most famous and important pieces of artwork, like a tiny marble statue named “David” by the relatively unknown artist, Michelangelo. If things that make no sense that are painted on canvas by a bunch of old, dead people isn’t your seen then fear not! Florence also has fashion museums dedicated to the amazing works of Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo and others. There is so much art and architecture to admire all over Italy, check out our Italian Extravaganza trip to see more from Venice, Rome, Pisa, and Cinque Terre!

The Gelato

Museums are cool and all, but you know what’s even cooler? Being able to eat gelato at any time of the day and not having to justify it. Just finished a class and you have 10 minutes until the next one? Get Gelato. You woke up at 3 pm hungover and unsure as to why there is a traffic cone in your room? Looks like it’s time to get gelato. Just had gelato an hour ago? Seems like the perfect reason for another trip to a gelateria to try their chocolate to see if it actually is the best in all of Florence. Eating gelato every day in Florence is just a thing that probably shouldn’t happen but somehow it does. There are a ton of place to get gelato in Florence and everyone has their opinions on which one is the best, so the only logical thing to do is eat at a new one everyday until you find your favorite. PLUS, gelato is cheap, so it can become a habit that won’t leave you sad and least that’s what I told myself.

So, what are you waiting for? Plan your trip to Florence today!


Alex Dornacker, Central College

Happy Backpackers

I had a blast visiting Prague for the first time with WSA. To start, the hostel that WSA booked for the tour was incredible. The entire staff was very helpful, the rooms were nice, and there was a really cool bar downstairs with live music every night. Our tour guide was top notch as well. He was really fun and flexible with whatever our group wanted to do while making sure we saw all of the major sights, good places to eat, as well as the night life! I thought this trip was much easier to book through WSA rather than figure it all out myself and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to get the most out of their trip!

Alex Dornacker, Central College ~ Center of Modern Languages, Granada,, Fall 2015

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