It’s widely known that Florence is one of the most exciting and beautiful places to study abroad and visit. Interestingly, one of the city's greatest qualities is its close proximity to other European and Italian cities, making it an easy place to travel to and from. If you're studying abroad in this magnificent city, here are four cities you have to visit. If you are just stopping in Florence for a few days or even longer, here are places you should be sure to check out before you leave Italy.
1. Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre is one of the most beautiful places on earth. From its crystal clear blue waters to its steep cliffs adorned with the famous colorful houses that you’ve seen on Google Images and/or Instagram, the sights of Cinque are a must-see. Be sure to go when it’s hot out—the main perk of this destination is without a doubt its black rocky beaches on the island of Monterosso. A visit here makes for an ideal day trip, so be sure to do so when the weather is at its best.
PS: Be sure to eat in one of the cafes overlooking the beach in Monterosso, as Cinque is world-famous for its pesto and paninis!
2. The Amalfi Coast
A weekend trip to Amalfi is a necessity for anyone visiting Italy during the summer. The numerous gorgeous beaches make the Amalfi Coast especially enjoyable when the weather is warm and the sun is shining. There are multiple cities to visit in Amalfi, the most popular being Positano, Capri, and Pompeii. Positano and Capri are gorgeous resort towns with beautiful shops lining the white cobblestone streets. Make sure to visit the dark sandy beaches in Positano and head to the Blue Grotto in Capri—the waters at both of these sites are absolutely stunning. Pompeii, unlike Positano and Capri, has its own appeal; it is covered in incredible ruins. The city also features Pompeii Pizza, one of the best pizza restaurants in Amalfi. The wide variety of things to do in Amalfi make it the perfect destination for a busy weekend trip!
Venice is one of the most incredible and unique cities in the world, and is the perfect destination for a weekend trip. Only a few hours trip by train from Florence, Venice offers a lot to see—most notably, its art. Art museums, famous churches, and gigantic cathedrals can be found all around the city. The artwork on display is some of the most famous in the world. Be sure to visit San Marco’s Basilica, an extremely extravagant and elegant cathedral in the famous St. Mark’s Square. Artwork aside, to really experience Venetian culture, you must take a gondola ride through the canals of the city. Rowing through what looks like tiny rivers, gives you a great view of the inside of the city. Try to catch a sunset and get a great Instagram (because that’s the obvious reason why you went to Venice in the first place, right?)
It goes without saying that anyone visiting Italy should visit Rome. It’s the capital of Italy, and a short hour and a half train ride away from Florence. There’s really no excuse not to go — and once you’re there, you’ll never want to leave. There’s no shortage of places to see. The vast ruins and historic buildings in this city can keep you busy for weeks. In order to see all of the beautiful sights that Rome has to offer, it’s definitely advised to go for an entire weekend. Naturally, be sure to visit the Coliseum, Vatican City, and Trevi Fountain—arguably three of the most famous sites in the city. Other exciting places include the Spanish Steps, Roman Forum, and the Pantheon. When you’re done sightseeing, head to Traverna Trilussa for dinner!