This month was filled with family time, being a tourist and sightseeing, and volunteering! My family visited me in Florence, so I took them to all the touristy spots around town, including Piazzale Michelangelo, as pictured here. They got a kick out of the street performers and absolutely fell in love with the view like I have!
While my family was here we, of course, had to stop by and see the Duomo at night. What a sight to behold! It looks magnificent lit up at night.
My family also wanted some souvenirs from their time here- what better than handmade, Florentine leather? We each picked out an item from the Scuola del Cuoio (School of Leather) and had them personalized with our initials. Pictured is one of the artists who pressed the gold-leaf letters into our items. It was a super cool experience!
Everyone in Florence knows about the iconic All’Antico Vinaio sandwich shops- you might even know them from TikTok or Instagram. My family wanted to try their world-famous sandwiches, so we waited in line before finally receiving our paninis. It was clear why it is such a famous spot in town!
For our final dinner together as a family, we went to a restaurant called Cacio e Pepe, a well-known dish in Italy. Wild boar is a famous local dish, so my dad tried pasta with wild boar sauce! It was amazing. It was hard saying goodbye to my family when they left, but I know that the memories with them here will last a lifetime.
Biblioteca delle Oblate is my absolute favorite spot to study at! You truly cannot beat the view. Plenty of tables are available, as well as a café where you can grab a cappuccino and a croissant to snack on while you work.
When I’m not studying, I’m off enjoying the warm weather. While I love the Boboli Gardens, my friend and I recently discovered a spot down by the Arno where you can lie in the grass and soak up the sun.
Our program offers many volunteer opportunities. My friend and I have been volunteering at a middle school every week where we help teach the students English. There are also other opportunities, such as the one pictured. Here, we volunteered at a local garden with an organization called Angeli del Bello where we helped repaint the park benches. It was a very gratifying experience and a great way to give back to this wonderful city.
There were many of us who showed up to help paint! It got a little messy, but it was worth it. The group members that organized the outing were all very kind and grateful that we were able to help.
This is a view from the top of the Duomo! Our amazing activity coordinators constantly plan fun outings such as the Duomo climb. All activities are after classes finish for the day so everyone can enjoy them. This was a personal favorite of mine.
On the way up to the top of the dome, we got an up-close look at the interior of the copula. It was incredible to see this work of art up close, though we were all a little tired from climbing the 400+ stairs to fully appreciate it…or at least I was.