For our very first night in Florence, my roommates and I decided to go out to a pizzeria near our apartment. We enjoyed delicious wine and pizza, and the waiter gave us a fun surprise of limoncello to finish the night, which is a classic Italian ending to a meal.
This is the breathtakingly beautiful Basilica di Santa Croce, which is just seconds away from our apartment. I get to see it almost every day, but it still manages to surprise me with its beauty every time.
We get to see the Ponte Vecchio every time we walk to class, but there’s something magical about the bridge at sunset. My roommate and I got our first gelato right before seeing this, so it was a truly wonderful experience.
The Ponte alle Grazie is the bridge we walk across on our way to class, and features views in every direction.
My roommates and I love to study in our living room, it is so spacious and especially pleasant when we open the shades and let the natural light in. It’s also a fun place to just hang out and chat after a full day of classes.
This is from the library just down the street from the CET center – The British Institute of Florence. It is a great place to study, and also features cultural talks every Wednesday with free wine afterwards. My roommate and I went to one on the Medici women and it was both entertaining and educational.
While it is very American to go running, I couldn’t resist appreciating the beautiful city while exercising. The streets are pretty empty around 8am, but running any later can get difficult because of the bustling nature of Florence. It was freezing cold though, so bring warm clothes if you want to run in the winter!
I missed the ocean from my home state of California, so it was fun to be able to see the Tyrrhenian Sea while in Naples for a weekend trip. The city was a little dirty, but extremely worth it for the views and food. I got to try the best pizza I’ve ever eaten!
My roommate and I met up in Naples with some other Vanderbilt students doing the CET Siena program and we tried a gnocchi making class. It was a fun way and delicious way to learn some Italian cooking, as well as practice our Italian with the teachers.
As much fun as weekend travel is, it feels good to come back to Florence. This view of the city is from Piazzale Michaelangelo, which is a short but uphill walk from the CET Center. Florence never fails to amaze me with its beauty!