I survived midterms week and am now super excited to begin my fall break vacation starting tomorrow in Venice! This week has been somewhat exhausting between studying and researching all the places I plan to visit during the next week, but as always I managed to locate some interesting study and eating spots in downtown Florence.
It is important to note that although Florence is lauded to be one of the epicenters in the world of Renaissance era architecture and art, I also find that it is a city that accommodates people who wish to sometimes enjoy the “hidden gems” of areas, such as myself quite well.
After trying polpete, which are essentially fried meatballs and gnocchi, a small round shaped pasta, on Friday with my host family, I decided that I could finally use a break from Florentine food for a little while. Thus on Saturday, I and some fellow classmates strolled down to Piazza San Firenze and had brunch at “The Diner”, an American style diner in Florence. As we walked through various curved cobblestone streets and darted across the sidewalk every few minutes to avoid getting hit by the always speeding vespas and small cars, I was amazed by how I kept noticing new buildings and boutiques and restaurants. It made me realize how there is still so many sights to still need to visit in Florence and I only have a little over a month left to do so. Yikes!
After reconnecting myself with some dearly missed pancakes and bacon during brunch, I then visited the Biblioteca Oblate, a huge library that is about a five minute walk from the Duomo. After getting my first ever library card in another country, I found a great quiet study area where I happily sipped on a Café Americano and made some study notes for my 4 midterm exams. (Heads up to future Florence study abroad students: you need your passport to get a library card)
Once I had been at the library for a few hours, I met up with some friends in San Marco for dinner, where I tried another first: Appertivo at Moyo Restaurant. Appertivo is a popular dining option here in which customers can order drinks and then help themselves to a buffet style dinner all for a discounted price. Only a selection of restaurants seem to offer it and only on selected days, but if you manage to stumble upon it, it is definitely something to enjoy. The food was delicious!
Needless to say, midterm season is a little bit less stressful when you’re in a city with so much to offer and experience. I can’t wait to arrive in Venice this Monday!