I often find that when people speak of Florence, Italy they call it a "tourist city." While there may be a bit more Americans roaming the streets there are so still so many ways to find yourself immersed in Florentine culture and meet locals.
Here are my top 5 suggestions for experiencing the off-the-beaten path of this amazing ancient city.
1. Head over to the Scandicci area of the city.
Just a short bus ride from the city center you will find yourself once again in an area mostly populated but non-english speaking residents.
2. Visit Pasticceria Giorgio
While many tourist know it, my Italian friends still love it! Famous for it's schiacciata alla Fiorentina, check out this location for the beauty and taste of the real Italian sweet life.
3. Shop at Il Mercato Sant' Ambrogio
You may have heard this before but I recommend it again! While I also enjoy Mercato Centrale, here at Sant' Ambrogio you will be forced to speak a bit more Italian and even get a better price on local specialities.
4. Take a Walk PAST Piazza Michelangelo
That's right, start your morning right by passing by the famous piazza. Here you will get another beautiful view point, a quiet area to practice your Italian and a new way to explore the city lifestyle!
5. Visit the same coffee shop daily
Easiest way to make a friend? By grabbing your first cafe of the day at the same location daily to make a connection. Guarantee the barista will remember and appreciate your dedication. By day three I bet you will be treated just like a local!