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I’m in disbelief that it’s been two years since I studied abroad in the magical city of Florence, and recently I’ve been recounting my experience there.
One of the things I miss most about being abroad is the ease of travel; Florence was in a great location and it was usually easy to travel to new places, especially around Italy! Though it’s always fun (and recommended) to travel to countries outside of your host country, don’t forget about all the great places within the country you’re studying in - even the small towns you don’t know much about.
If you decide to study abroad in Florence, I highly recommend taking advantage of the ease of travel and adventuring around Italy for some quick day trips! Here are my top five day trips that I took when I was in Florence:
To say that Venice is a picture perfect place is a complete understatement. I can, without a doubt, say that the day I spent in this amazing city was one of the best days of my three months abroad. It was a quick train ride from Florence, I went with two of my best friends from the trip, the weather was gorgeous, and we arrived without any plan! We wandered around the city, got lost quite a few times, and had the classic Venice experience by going on a gondola ride! I couldn’t stop taking pictures because it all looked like a painting.
Siena & San Gimignano
To be honest, these two cities weren’t on my list of places I wanted to visit while abroad, but I’m happy that CAPA organized a My Global Education event here! We took a bus to Siena first, then headed to San Gimignano. The Cathedral in Siena (pictured below) was absolutely breathtaking. San Gimignano is a smaller town that is harder to get to directly from Florence, but it was a very charming medieval town! Both were beautiful and full of history.
While this wasn’t necessarily a full-day trip, if you’re studying abroad in Florence I highly recommend checking out Fiesole. This was another trip organized by CAPA and if you’re into hiking, this is the place for you! This was one of the first My Global Education events of the semester and, as a big group, we hiked for quite some time. It was very tiring, but the view at the end was definitely worth the effort. I ended up going back for a second time at the end of the semester to take in the beautiful scenery once more.
Pisa & Lucca
I know it sounds cliché, but Pisa was one of my favorite day trips! Before going, I thought that all that was in this city was the Leaning Tower, which is partially true, but the actual city was very charming and fun to walk through! I’m usually not into very touristy places, but I actually enjoyed seeing the Tower and seeing what else the city had to offer. Plus, there was a delicious gelato shop that we stopped at. Since we didn’t need an entire day in Pisa, we figured we would check out another small town called Lucca, which is about a 40 minute train ride from Pisa. It was another fun little city to walk around and it was nice to see two new places in one day!
Though there are many other places I enjoyed visiting (and ones I unfortunately didn’t have time to visit), these few day trips that I mentioned above left great impressions on me and left me with some very cherished memories!