Florence is, as you may already know, one of the most magnificent cities in the entire world, which is probably why you have chosen to come to Italy for your international exchange. This city is just packed with students, making it a young, vibrant place to be, even though it is still steeped in the history of the Renaissance. Florence is home to some of the most amazing masterpieces on the planet, and you’re truly lucky to be able to immerse yourself in this fascinating culture.
There are dozens of reasons to study in Florence, whether it be for the renowned universities, the magnificent art, the delicious food or the friendly Italian people. So let’s take a look at why Florence often tops the lists for student exchanges, and see why it might just be the ideal place for you to explore your future educational possibilities!
When you think of Florence, you undeniably think about art. Florence was once the playground for such greats as Michelangelo, Donatello, Brunelleschi and Leonardo da Vinci, as well as Artemisia Gentileschi, one of the first female painters ever to be trained alongside men in Italy.
Florence is most definitely the city of art, and in every corner of this stunning destination, there is something that it’s a must-see for lovers of the beauty of any kind. But there, of course, a few places that just beg for repeat visits.
The Uffizi Gallery is a must-see, boasting masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s “Tondo Doni”, Caravaggio’s “Bacco” and so many more. You should also spend some time at Pitti Palace, the Bargello National Museum, Museo Stibbert, Riccardi de Medici Palace, Museo Bardini or Museo Novecento. You’ll never run out of inspiration in Florence, that’s for sure! Palazzo Strozzi, a 15th-century palace, also hosts major international exhibitions each year that are always very impressive and quite popular with the university students.
You won’t be in Florence for an hour before you’ll realize that this is definitely a “walking city.” You’ll see all kinds of people on foot, whether it be students hurrying from faculty to faculty, tourists with their maps and guides, or locals carrying their groceries home from the supermarket.
However, it never hurts to save some time by biking from one location to next. Plus, it’s great exercise when you may not have time to make it to the gym as often as you’d like. There are numerous options for buying a bike, including stores offering nice second-hand bikes for sale. And of course, you can also even rent a bike, if that’s more economical for you. Also be sure to purchase a nice lock for your bike. No matter how safe the neighborhood is, if you leave a bike unlocked, the chances are that it won’t be there when you return for it. Italy is known for its crazy drivers, but you don’t have to worry about collisions. There are numerous bike paths, and the traffic in the city center is restricted. So, you’ll be biking around in Florence like a local in no time!
Wine is synonymous with Italy, and Tuscany, in particular, is famous across the globe for its high quality and delicious taste. The months of September and October are the best season for indulging in wine, so you most definitely came to the right place if you love a good glass from time to time.
This is also the time for some of the area’s food and wine festivals, so be sure to try the local cuisine and get really adventurous with your wine selections.
This creamy concoction was invented in Florence by Bernardo Buontalenti in the 16th century, and the city hasn’t been the same since. Of course, there are numerous places to grab a cup in a multitude of flavors, but some of the best are Gelateria dei Neri, Gelateria Edoardo and La Sorbetteria.
Sometimes, especially when you’re a student, you just to disconnect, whether it be for a half hour or for an entire afternoon. Nature is the perfect respite from a busy schedule, and Florence is the ideal place to experience it as its loveliest.
Parco delle Cascine is the biggest park in Florence, and every Tuesday it hosts a market, offering everything from clothes to books, to household items, to vegetables and fruits. There are also plenty of paths for those wishing to get in a little exercise, ideal for bikers, joggers and walkers. And of course, there are numerous areas perfect for those wanting to relax the day away.
Giardino dell'Orticultura is a picturesque park with amazing views of the city of Florence. You can also find beautiful meadows and lush flowerbeds, along with areas for play, fitness and relaxation. This park is also home to a truly impressive tepidarium, representing some of the world’s most beautiful butterfly species. Another lovely green space is Giardino delle Rose, which is situated on a hillside just a few steps away from Piazzale Michelangelo. This is yet another location offering magnificent views of Florence, along with a garden hosting a vast assortment of aromatic roses.
And if you’re ready for more explorations, climb Forte Belvedere for more great views and even contemporary art exhibitions. This spot is truly unreal on a sunny day!
As that Florence is such a popular student city, you’ll be sure to find a myriad of housing choices. When you’re looking for housing Florence, you have to start your search early — at least three to four months before your intended move. Housing can be in high demand, so it might take a little bit of time to find the space that’s right for you.
Of course, using a trusted rental platform is a must. If you have an idea of what you’re looking for, then you can select your preferences, getting an alert when a property matching them is posted. This is extremely helpful, especially as that the best rooms rent almost immediately.
You’re sure to love every second of your time in Florence. In fact, you might find it difficult to tear yourself away. Many students relocate to Italy, so your semester or two in this lovely country might just be the beginning. Benvenuti a Firenze!