By Kelsey Gibson
Ever wonder what an average day in Florence is like?
"One of the great joys of traveling through Italy is discovering firsthand that it is, indeed, a dream destination."
Living life in a foreign city that is so full of life, art and entertainment makes it impossible to be bored. Working in Florence creates the challenge of balancing work and play. Let me take you through an average day of mine while living in Florence.
Working in the evenings made me make the most of my mornings and early afternoons before heading off to work. My day started in the early morning with a run down to the Arno River, across to Santo Spirito, or, if I am feeling ambitious, up to Piazzale Michelangelo! Running always got my day started and let me enjoy the peace in the city before the streets got crowded with tourists and locals. After returning to my apartment to get ready for the day, I would stop by the caffe across the street in order to get my daily cappuccino or espresso on my way to the Oblate Library, a quiet spot in Santa Croce, or a near by park to read a good book or work on some assignments. Not many cafes are made to do work in like Starbucks and other coffee shops in the states, so the library is a better option for that as well as having an excellent view of the Duomo too! However, if you are determined to find a coffee shop with wifi, Ardnold Coffee by the train station is a great place to grab something to eat, people watch, and get some work done!
After getting some light reading or work done, I head to the Central Market or Sandwichic, my all time favorite panini shop on Via San Gallo, to grab a light lunch. After lunch I would walk around and explore a new area of town that I may not have ever been to before. My favorite place to walk around is the Oltrarno neighborhood. There is always a new shop or caffe that I haven’t seen before that turns out to be a hidden gem. Last summer I found a tea shop, La Via Del Te with a friend where we sat for hours reading and enjoying time together in their beautiful back garden. Then, heading to work around 6 was also not a boring part of the day! I always looked forward to going to Touch to eat dinner with the restaurant family and working with my local friends!
On my days off, I would love to go to the pool and rides bikes in Cascine Park. It is extremely easy to get to by bus and only about a 15-minute ride. There you can rent bikes, pay for a day at the pool, enjoy the outdoor market, or simply walk around and enjoy the scenery. I also recommend going to the beach by San Niccolo or finding a ride to the parks further outside of town. San Niccolo’s beach also hosts some great free live bands and dancing on certain nights. Getting outside of the city center not only broadens your perspective of a city, but it also gets you out of the stagnant heat in the city center and gives you a nice breeze to cool off. Add a bit of gelato on the way and your day is made!
I woke up every day in Florence excited to take on the day and see what it had in store for me. Due to their laid back culture, Italy is the perfect place to take a deep breath, let everything else go, and simply be in the moment to enjoy the little things in life.
Find it out for yourself and join one of our trips this summer to take in the sweet life, la dolce vita, of Italy and find a little more of yourself!
Kelsey is the Part Time Assistant Travel Consultant for Travel Italian Style and is a student at the University of Mississippi studying Hospitality Management with a minor in Spanish and Business Administration. Kelsey took part in an exchange program in Argentina in high school which created a flourishing passion for travel and learning about other cultures. From then on she took every advantage to study abroad and backpack through Europe. This past summer, Kelsey interned for a local restaurant, Touch, in Florence, Italy and fell in love with the Italian culture. She was able to have a real local experience by making friends with coworkers and locals. She wants to make it possible for everyone who travels to be completely immersed into the culture in order to gain another perspective and to be able to enjoy life even more.