Danya Carithers is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A marketing major at the University of Pittsburgh, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.
In this week's post, Danya talks about everyone's favorite topic in Italy: The food!
I am sure that I am not the only one who has listened to friends talk about how marvelous and life-changing their food was on their summer vacation in Italy. Nodding along to how you have to try this dish and go to this place or else flying 6,000 miles across the world was not even worth it. But here I am in Florence with not the slightest idea of where to eat. Obviously, there is no lack of restaurants or cafes, but way too many to choose from! What if I fall into a tourist trap of mediocre food? What if everything is way too overpriced? Or God forbid… What if... I can’t tell my friends back home how AMAZING the food was!!!
After doing some online research for recommendations, I began my trial and error journey of places to eat and drink in Florence.
On a Saturday morning with nothing to do, I decided to go on a walk around my neighborhood. After strolling for about five minutes, I run into a little shop with flashing Christmas lights and flowers (may or may not be a fly?). I walk inside and see a crowded café full of Italians enjoying their cups of coffee. The barista was welcoming and my cappuccino was good enough to complete my mission to find that cute café I have been envisioning.
La Milkeria is around the corner from the CAPA center which makes it super convenient to go before or after classes. They have a large selection of crepes, pastries, and caffeinated drinks that will start off your day well. The design of the store reminds me of places I go to back in Los Angeles (I am aware that L.A. copied Florence) which helps make Florence a little more familiar and comforting to me.
I have small breaks in between my classes at CAPA, so I do not have much time for lunch. I found a small shop with no name other than the word “Vino Bar”. I know my mom is reading this so don’t worry I’m not coming here for wine before class! They have pre-made sandwiches at a reasonable price so that I don’t have to sacrifice quality food for my time.
After our first full week of classes, my roommates and I wanted to celebrate by stuffing ourselves at a nice restaurant for dinner. We ended up at a beautiful place called Finisterrae. The restaurant is located at the heart of the city in the Santa Croce piazza. From the outside, Finisterrae looks like a small, cozy restaurant, but once you step inside you are led through seven different halls dedicated to different parts of Italy and France. Our table was located in the Marseille hall and I ordered homemade pasta with butternut squash and tuna. My roommates and I have already agreed to come back again.
I am hoping that a local Florentine isn’t cringing at the (probably touristy) places I’ve chosen to eat at. Regardless, every place has exceeded my expectations so far. I am extremely grateful and so lucky to have the opportunity to experience the world-renowned food culture in Italy. In fact, every day I am adding to my list of places I want to eat and will keep you guys updated on new finds!
Danya's journey continues every Thursday so stay tuned!