Echo Abroad: Ciao, Italia!

Good food, great views and amazing company did not even do justice to the absolutely fantastic time I have had here in London so far. One trip that AIFS led was to Florence, Italy.

I had no idea what to expect before arriving to Italy. I had never been there before and was so excited to explore the ancient cobblestone streets of Florence. If you love history and roaming around the oldest museums in the world, Florence is definitely a place you need to have on your bucket list. The Uffizi is the oldest museum in the world and home to some of the most magnificent paintings to date.

The views from any rooftop building are absolutely breathtaking. A few of us went to this rooftop café on top of a department store and had a beautiful view of one of the plaza’s, the Duomo, surrounding city and cathedrals.

The one thing I was looking forward to was obviously the pizza and gelato. I found that the best type of pizza is just plain margarita. Too many topping can ruin the taste of the pizza itself.

I was determined to find the best gelato and it took a few tries, but I succeeded.

A helpful tip: make sure the gelatos in the tubs are not too high above the rim, if they are that means that there are preservatives in it and it is not true authentic gelato.

Just in case you find yourself in Italy anytime soon, the best Gelateria’s in my eyes are Piazza Della Signoria and Venchi

Aside from the wonderful views, we participated in a cooking class, which was one of the things I was most excited about. We made spinach and cheese ravioli, a potato quiche, and a chocolate pudding/jello dessert. I felt like I had really immersed in the food aspect of Italian culture. They take their food seriously and it is treated as an art.  

Prior to leaving Italy we made pit stops in Lucca and Pisa. Lucca was such a cute, quaint town. It did not have many tourists, which made it even more enticing. I loved wandering through the streets and consuming even more pizza and gelato. Being immersed in the culture was something that was really special to me. I loved going into church’s, cathedrals, museums, bakeries, and boutiques.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa was much smaller than I imagined but still amazing nonetheless. In was in a very small, rural area with not much to do. If going to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa is on your to-do-list make sure you have more planned for the day in another area because it will not consume a large portion of your day.

Italy was such an amazing place and I will definitely be going back. These experiences that I’ve had have helped to broaden my knowledge about other cultures and others ways of living. New experiences mean new friends and new memories, which is something that I have treasured throughout my time here. The experiences and adventures I’ve had have not only been unforgettable, they were absolutely wonderful.

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