About a month ago, I took a trip to visit the beautiful little town of Florence, Italy. I was extremely excited to go here considering I almost studied abroad in Florence. A majority of my closest friends from school in Arizona are studying in Florence, so I was so happy I got to take a trip to visit them. Truth be told, I was a little worried that I was going to end up liking Florence more than Barcelona and regret my decision to not study there. However, I proved myself wrong and I’ll explain to you why.
First off, I learned very quickly that Florence is TINY. I repeat to you, TINY. It was much different from what I’m used to here in Barcelona. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved it though. I just feel like it was the perfect place to visit for a weekend, not to stay for a whole semester. At the end of the weekend, I had felt as though I got to see the whole town in just the three short days I was there. Whereas in Barcelona, I have been here for almost four months and still feel like there is so much more for me to see. If I studied in Florence for the whole semester I could see myself getting bored very quickly which would be a big issue for me. I am the kind of person who likes to constantly explore new things, which is why I enjoy Barcelona so much because I am constantly discovering new places. Although, I have to say that Ponte Vecchio in Florence was one of my favorite places I have found to just sit and relax.
Even though Barcelona has Florence beat city wise, Florence takes the cake for better food…and I’m talking by a landslide. I don’t think I have ever eaten better food in my whole entire life than I did in Florence. I ate everything from pizza, to pasta, to gelato, to panini’s, to salads and no where in Barcelona can even compare to that quality of food. I’m typically a very healthy eater, but I let myself splurge in Florence and I couldn’t be more happy that I did. What truly amazed me was that it wasn’t only the Italian food that was better in Florence, even the salads were better. The salads I ate there contained the most fresh ingredients I have ever tasted. BUT DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ABOUT THE GELATO. Now, I know I mentioned that I am a pretty healthy eater, but when it comes to sweets I have absolutely no self control. I had gelato three times a day, everyday when I was in Florence. I don’t regret one bite of that gelato, it was amazing. I even learned a trick about picking the right place to buy gelato from while I was there. I was told that the gelato shops where the the gelato looks like a mountain and is super big, is not authentic gelato. You always want to make sure the gelato is flat because that means it is authentic. I was so glad my friends told me this because being the tourist I am, I would totally go to the places where the gelato looks the most extravagant.
I of course visited the two most talked about food places while I was in Florence as well. I had to try the famous panini from All’antico Vinaio. I can confirm that people aren’t lying when they say it is the best panini you will ever have in your life. Keep in mind this panini is also the biggest one you will ever see, it was bigger than my head to put it into perspective. Then, I tried “Gusta Pizza” where they make your pizza in the shape of a heart. I had high hopes for this place, and it was definitely good, however I didn’t necessarily think it lived up to the hype.
I found florence to be an absolutely charming little town and would definitely visit again one day in the future. I am so thankful I had the opportunity to visit the place I almost called home this semester, but I’m even more thankful I ended up getting to call Barcelona my home.