In this week's post, Connor highlights three great places to visit that are a easy train ride away from the CAPA Florence Center.
Ciao! Since being in Florence, I have been to so many historic sites and places within the city. However, one of the many great things about living in Florence is the accessibility to travel to different locations in Italy. It is easy to do day trips or weekend trips without spending too much money on transportation. Buying train tickets is simple and quick process. I have purchased tickets at the train station or bought them online beforehand. I would recommend buying tickets online beforehand just to look at different prices and train times, but either way is easy.
Since being in Florence, I have traveled to Venice, Lake Como, and Livorno Beach. All of these places are close to Florence, so the trips were not too expensive and we did not spend too much time on the train.
The first weekend I traveled to Venice, Italy. This was about a 2 hour train ride from the Florence station. The city of Venice was unlike any other place I have ever been to. We took a ferry ride across the Grand Canal so we could see the entire city. It was a breathtaking experience.
The city of Venice!
This was the first time I had been to another city in Italy besides Florence. Venice was definitely similar in ways but also very different to Florence. Besides the fact that there is a canal running through the entire city, the buildings and streets themselves were also different. It was much more crowded in Venice. The streets are very narrow and it is easy to get lost. My friends and I got lost wandering the streets for 2 hours trying to find the train station, even with Google Maps! Finally we asked some locals for directions, and they were more than happy to helps us. Overall, Venice was a beautiful new city to see, and it is not often in a person’s life they can go visit it so easily!
The next weekend I went to Lake Como with a group of friends. Lake Como was slightly harder to travel to. It was about a 4 hour train ride. Nevertheless, the lake was well worth the 4 hours.
Sitting at the top of a hill overlooking Lake Como.
Again, we took a ferry and got to explore the lake from the water. It was much bigger than I anticipated! We visited the town of Bellagio, walked through gardens, and relaxed on a beach. The combination of the lake and mountains surrounding me was unlike any other site I had seen before. Lake Como was also noticeably different from Florence and Venice. There seemed to be a lot less tourists there so we were able to get a better understanding of their culture. We had to learn the bus system there and practice our Italian to order food. It was a great experience and one of my favorite places I have ever visited.
Livorno Beach is an easy day trip for students living in Florence. It is only an hour away and train tickets are extremely reasonable. I planned it last second with a group of friends and had a great time.
Heading to Livorno Beach with friends.
After getting off the train we walked for 15-20 minutes until we arrived at the beach. The beach was extremely quiet and allowed us to have a relaxing day. It was nice to get away from all of the noise and chaos that a city like Florence can have. The town was mostly locals but some tourists as well. I recommend going to anyone staying in Florence.
We got to watch people parasail!
Florence offers students with so many things to do and sites to see. However, it is good to travel to the areas around you too. With so many different incredible places that are just a train ride away, it is hard not to explore!
Connor McGlone is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Marketing and Supply Chain Management major at University of Pittsburgh, he is studying abroad in Florence this semester.
Connor's journey continues every Tuesday so stay tuned.