Florence must be one of the most photogenic cities in the world (in our opinion, anyway!) and this Tuscan gem has been voted, several years in a row, as the best city in Europe by Travel + Leisure readers. It’s small enough that it’s not overwhelming to explore its cobblestoned piazzas by foot, yet it packs a punch (or many) when it comes to art, history, fashion, and food.
If the names Donatello, Michelangelo, and Leonardo ring a bell (and not because of childhood television), you’ll be thrilled to see their original works in person, but there’s a thriving contemporary art scene to discover too. History trickles through every building and down every alleyway. Locals tend to dress with taste and style. You’ll be able to speak with them, including a host family if you wish, take Italian classes, and sign up for an internship or volunteer work - all of which will give you a well-rounded mix of opportunities to learn or improve your language skills. And if pasta, pizza, and gelato make your list of favorite foods, you’ll taste some of the best you’ve ever had while you’re in Italy.