You could spend endless weekends exploring all that Florence has to offer. From the Uffizi collection to the Boboli Gardens to the Piazza de Michelangelo, there is plenty nearby to keep your weekends busy.
However, one of the best parts of studying abroad in Europe is exploring different cities and countries with friends. We’ve put together advice on the top day trips from Florence from study abroad students using gtrot.com. gtrot is a social travel site that makes it easy to show were your friends have been, where they’re going, and see overlapping travel plans.
Pisa: One of Italy’s most iconic buildings put Pisa on the map for tourists. Pisa has the same charm of the Arno in Florence but with a quainter downtown containing plenty of shops and restaurants to check out during the day. When you go, make sure to bring your camera to get the obligatory "holding up the leaning tower of Pisa" shot. You’ll also need to step back and snap a picture of all the tourists trying to do the same. Plan your trip during daylight hours, as the iconic leaning tower of Pisa is not lit up at night.
Siena: This tiny medieval village has maintained the narrow stone streets and buildings from centuries earlier. Spend a day wandering the narrow alleys, admiring the church frescoes, and imagining what it would've been like in a world without cars, electronics, or paved sidewalks. Do not miss the town square that is famous for Il Palio, a two-day series of horse races held each August. Neighborhoods become rivals, each cheering on their horse and proudly wearing scarves with their neighborhood crest. The event lasts all day with a final winner declared during the last race. After glory or defeat, each micro-neighborhood eats together at long wooden tables in the street.
Cinque Terra: It would be a challenge to find a more picturesque place than these five waterfront villages. On a weekend with nice weather take the train to the Italian coast to spend the day in Cinque Terra. You can choose to take a train between each town or hike the trail. The most popular option is to take the train all the way to the northern-most town and then head south on the hiking trail. Stop in each village for shopping, a glimpse of the multi-colored houses and some of the best seafood in the country. If it's warm enough, you can even hike down to the crystal Mediterranean for a swim.
Italy has some of the most beautiful artwork, delicious food and wonderful people. Make sure to make the most of your study abroad experience to Florence by checking out other local towns and by inviting friends along for your trips using gtrot.
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