Around Town and Beyond!
All work and no play – no way!
When you’re ready to explore Europe at its best, you’ll find Florence incredible! Visit the Piazza Michelangelo to hear the haunting beauty of Gregorian chants coming from the Church of San Miniata. Shop for the latest in Italian fashion from the most famous designers. See the sights from the Boboli Gardens at Fort Belvedere for a truly commanding view of the city. Sip a cappuccino and enjoy a snack in the Piazza della Signoria, alive with restaurants, tavernas and ice cream shops. Just make sure you save room for a taste of real Italian pizza!
Shopping – Now That’s Italian!
Italy is the fashion capital of the world (just ask any Italian), and Florence is known as a supreme shopping destination. Unique boutiques abound throughout the city, including the famed shops on the Ponte Vecchio full of stunning gold jewelry. For a real high-fashion fix, check out Via Tornabuoni; it’s Fifth Avenue and Rodeo Drive rolled into one! You can peruse the famous open-air markets of Florence, and if you’re into shoes, don’t miss the famous Ferragamo shoe museum!
Designer Outlet Excursion!
Serious shoppers will have to visit the Gucci, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana outlets. You’ll find great deals on the best names in Italian fashion. Bottom line: Don’t overpack if you want to bring some Italian fashion back!
Nightlife Italian Style
At night, you will have the opportunity to socialize and build friendships while you enjoy the fun and excitement of Florentine nightlife. Many popular hangouts are located in the historic city center, and the welcoming crowd of lively locals and international visitors creates an unforgettable energy! If you’re ready to feel a little European rhythm, step onto the floor at a hip discotheque like Space. If you want to watch the world go by, sit down at a trendy café in a bustling square to people watch and enjoy the strolling musicians and street performers.
Paint the Town
The strong Renaissance roots of Florence make it an essential destination for today’s students. For centuries, artists, scholars, painters and poets have drawn inspiration from the city’s incredible landscape and its architectural splendor. Take a stroll along the banks of the Arno River or marvel at the beauty of the hillside surrounding the city, and you’ll know exactly what we mean! If you want to observe great art in the making, you can also explore the city’s many narrow side streets to search out unique craftsmen who still make amazing creations using ancient techniques. You’ll be amazed at the beautiful alabaster carvings, superb leather goods and beautiful metalwork produced by these timeless artisans.
The Art of the Matter
Florence is itself a living museum. Majestic churches tower high over the city from almost every perspective. The Duomo and the churches of San Lorenzo, Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce are essential visits. Next, explore the Uffizi, a legendary museum that houses works by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Titian and Rubens. Other great museums, such as the Pitti Palace, Galleria dell’Accademia and Palazzo Vecchio, also contain incredible collections. Because a cultural experience is as much about making new friends as it is about enjoying art, ACA also hosts a variety of dinners, parties and special events. This creates even more opportunities for interaction, letting you really connect with your peers in Florence!
Cooking Out and Dining Out
If you think you’ve got the makings of the next Mario Batali, then you’ll savor the chance to build your cooking skills at the famed Cordon Bleu, Florence’s finest culinary schools. Everyone will have a chance to create an amazing Italian meal. When you’ve finished in the kitchen, take a seat at the table, serve up your culinary creations and chow down with your friends!
Italians, as you probably know, love their films. You can catch a show at the Art Deco Odeon Theater, which shows English-language movies twice a week. And you can visit an open-air cinema for a night at the movies under the stars!
If You Love the Great Outdoors
Fans of fresh air and wide-open spaces will be in heaven when they visit Tuscany. The rolling hills, the olive groves, the amazing sunshine – it’s tailor-made for anyone who craves natural beauty. Dedicated athletes will enjoy a jog through the city and surrounding countryside. And then there’s the scenic Arno River, itself a lyric locale for those who want to take a relaxing stroll along its banks.
With their love of dining, dancing, music and fashion, the people here know how to enjoy life to the fullest throughout the year. Their warmth and charm are renowned around the world, and people are quick to call Florence one of the friendliest cities in Europe. During the first week of July, the city celebrates the Festivale Pitti Imagine Filiati, a citywide celebration that brings an extra dose of energy to a place that already knows how to have a good time.