Europe, Italy

A Tour Through Florence

Europe Italy

I don’t know many people who would say no to eating pizza and gelato every day while walking some of the most historic streets of Italy and when I lived in Florence, that’s exactly what I did. I went to Florence for a travel course about Art History during the Renaissance era through my school, Chapman University and because of that, got a first hand experience of what living like a local Italian was really like.

The 3 things that stood out to me the most in Florence were the art, food and the people. Of all the world’s most notable pieces of art, half of them are in Italy, and of those, half are in Florence! There is so much to learn about history through pieces of art and I reveled in delight walking through countless museums and churches hearing some old stories and some new.

The leather factory, Ponte Vecchio, Uffizi, Palazzo Vecchio, and The David were among some of my favorite visits. Of course you can’t miss the magnificent Duomo located in the center of the city featuring a 465 stair hike to the top with an impeccable view of Florence. The Duomo Museum was my favorite museum in town containing Michelangelo’s last sculpture and Donatello’s Mary Magdalene.

Let’s talk about food now because I know you’re all probably thinking that’s the best part about Italy and you’re right. It is. In the states, I actually don’t really like pizza, pasta or paninis, so it’s funny that I literally ate that every day in Florence, but it’s SO different and SO good. To spare you the boring details I just want to show you some pictures to make you drool and then give you a list of my favorite places in town.


  • Gusta Pizza – hands down #1 best pizza I’ve ever had. Ask for it to be shaped like a heart!

    Via Maggio, 46R, 50125, Florence, Italy
  • Pizzeria O’Vesuvio – they have ricotta stuffed crust!!
    Via Dei Cimatori 21r, 50122, Florence, Italy


  • Amorino panino e vino
    Via Dei Servi 16r, 50122, Florence, Italy
  • Antico noe
    Volta di S. Piero, 6/8/r, 50122 Firenze, Italy
  • All’Antico vinaio
    Via dei Neri, 74/R, 50100 Firenze, Italy


  • Trattoria ZaZa
    Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 26r, 50123 Firenze, Italy
  • Osteria Santo Spirito – truffle gnocchi
    Piazza Santo Spirito, 16/R, 50125 Firenze, Italy


  • Venchi
    Via Calimaruzza, 18, 50123 Firenze, Italy
  • Gelateria de Neri
    Via dei Neri, 9/11, 50122 Firenze, Italy
  • Vivaldi
    Via dei Renai, 15, 50125 Firenze, Italy
  • Edorado –try dark chocolate and cinnamon!
    Piazza del Duomo, 45/R, 50122 Firenze, Italy


  • News Café (they’ll draw the Duomo in your café latte! Also, try drinking chocolate!)
    Via del Giglio, 59, 50123 Firenze, Italy


  • La Giostra
    Borgo Pinti, 10-18 R, 50121 Firenze, Italy

Now for the Italian people, who are amazing! A friend of mine told me about a guy named Giuliano Ricchi, who smashed Euros and made them into bracelets for you if you knocked on his apartment door. I thought it was sketchy but it ended up being one of the coolest experiences of my month abroad. He has an entire apartment filled with little brass trinkets he has created and turned into the most beautiful jewelry. He even sells to the United States! While we were there he showed us some of his orders from Alaska.

When we asked him about the bracelets, sure enough he took us down to the basement where he fired up his roller and smashed our Euros right before our eyes. Then he custom fit a chain to our wrist and attached the pendent to it. I will never forget Giuliano and all the other kind souls I met in Florence. They truly welcomed me and made me feel like I belonged. Whether you’re going for the history, tourism or simply the food, know that Florence is a wonderful town, rich in love, wisdom and great culture.

Contributed by Nicole Renard