Written by Dawn, High School/Pre-College Student Correspondent for Italian Food, Art, and Society in Florence, Summer 2018
I only drank Caffè Americano before I came to Italy, but you know what? Things have changed since! Food is such a big part of Italian culture, and even though Italy is crowded with tourists, this part of its culture will always shine. If you have decided to come to the CET program in Florence, be ready to dive deep into the Italian food culture, here are just a couple of my favorites.
Breakfast (plus health tips!!!)
I understand if you’re someone who hears the word breakfast and just wants to leave, but DON’T! I’ve been there too! Just trust me once when I tell you that you have to go to an Italian café for breakfast. It’s such a rich and pleasant experience that you just can’t miss! It might change the way you see breakfast!
In Italy, breakfasts are like desserts, and I’ll be honest, this wasn’t the most appealing idea for someone like me who’s been trying to develop a healthier lifestyle for the past year, but you know what, sometimes you just need to sacrifice certain things just temporarily and immerse yourself into an experience that might change the way you see the world.
And FYI: we walk pretty much everywhere here in the city center, and that’s a solid 4 to 7 miles a day. If that’s not enough, there are yoga mats that you can borrow from the CET center!
Imagine eating a chocolate-filled croissant with a cup of cappuccino… if you’re one of the million coffee drinkers and chocolate lovers, you’re up for a treat! As busy as a city may usually be, my breakfasts in Italian cafés have always been the most relaxing part of our full and exciting days. There are four of us in an apartment, and most mornings we stay in for breakfast, but we managed to go to a few cafés including Gelateria La Carraia, News Café, The High Bar and Rivoire. You’ve got to check out these cafés! Just take a peaceful walk to any café, sit down with your cohorts and start the day off fresh.
There are so many street artists in the city of Florence, you can see their artwork pretty much everywhere you go. The photo on the left was one we were lucky enough to spot working, and seeing him do all this with chalk was truly amazing. There are anonymous street artists like Blub who paints underwater people wearing goggles, and famous street artists like Clet Abraham who changed ordinary street signs into cute art pieces.
There are also other forms of art like music and performing arts. As someone fascinated by art, I must say that I’ve fallen in love with these little details that have made this city just that much more beautiful.
It’s been a great week in Florence, and as crazy as it may seem, it’s starting to feel like another home to me.