First tip of the day, keep up with your homework, kids. No really, I’m serious, and I know that’s the most boring, predictable tip to give to someone in one of these scholastic advice giving scenarios, but actually. Listen, I’m sure your super responsible or whatever, and always get your work done, and that’s great for you. I’m the same way. But you see, the thing is that studying abroad is one of the funnest things you’ll probably do in your life. At least, that’s what I’ve heard. For a certainty it’s a nearly impossible time to replicate, and one which you will be wanting to get the most out of. I know that was my thinking, which is why I decided to take an incredibly relaxed course load this semester. After all, I’m a few credits ahead of my quota, so I figured there’d be no harm in taking it easy. That way I’d have more time to live life to the fullest in Firenze. Now, I think this tip can probably apply to someone studying at any abroad site, as I’m sure there are similar sentiments everywhere, but the reason I say it specifically for Italy is that it’s just so easily to become incredibly lax here. Italy really just begs you to shirk… that thirsty hoe (Disclaimer: I’d call anyone a hoe, man or woman, so chill I’m not being sexist. ‘thirsty individual of promiscuous sexual tendencies’ just doesn’t really roll off the tongue).
So take heed, you may only have Italian I, Intro to Photo, Mafia Politics, and some random two credit travel blogging class (easy af, right?), but don’t get lulled. The thing is, I’ve found that because my-… I mean, that hypothetical person’s course load seems so light, it’s just that much easier to ignore the minimal work load. Then you end up not worrying about it, and before you know it, you’re three blog posts in the hole (viciously and ashamedly abusing the flexible due date policy), you’ve got a book to read, Italian homework to make up, research to do, and no time to see the Uffizi Gallery! Hypothetically!
I just really wanna stress that you have a lot less time than you think you do when the semester starts, and you don’t want to be swamped and behind in your last week, when all you want to do is enjoy the last of your precious time with your friends.
Alright, that’s the big one. Also the most universal, site wise. Now I’ll leave you with a few Florence-specific tips. Just the tips, though.
Number one, live in an off-campus apartment. No ifs, ands, or buts, just do it. It’s so goddamn cool. You may be tempted by the on-campus villas, gym, dinning hall, proximity to classes, etc. Don’t be, not even close to worth it. If you want to actually experience Florence, you have to live in the actual city. Preferably at Via dell’Acqua 3 (the best location, you have no idea), or
Via dei Tosinghi 2 is pretty lit too, but really just as long as you’re in the city you’ll be good. Dell’Acqua just has the added bonus of being located directly above the best bar in Florence, Superfox. If you’re lucky enough to make it there, tell Lapo I say hi, then order an Old Fashioned because it’s his specialty. You won’t be sorry. Unless Flick is working instead of Lapo, then you might be a little sorry.
Number two, cook your own food. Even if you don’t know how to cook, Italy is a solid place to start. All of the ingredients you’ll buy will be super cheap (at least, cheaper than America) and taste waaay better, so experiment a little. It’s also a good way to give yourself a respite from pasta and pizza for every meal. Your waistband will thank you.
Number three, never, ever, under any circumstance, for any reason at all, EVER, eat at Tijuana on Via Ghibellina. Ever. I have not had a single, honest to god ‘bad’ experience eating in Italy. Not all are great, but none have been holistically bad and caused me legitimate anger that I went there. Except Tijuana. I’m doing you a favor, it’s trash, don’t subject yourself. I don’t even know you, or really care about you if we’re being real, but even so I want you to be spared that experience. Even if all of your friends are trying to go, and they’re being all like “OMG let’s go to Tijuana and get margs, I love Mexican! Haha yes, college!” You know, as they tend to do. Don’t do it. Do yourself the biggest favor of the semester and go to I’Margaritaio instead. It’s mad close, and they have four euro Margaritas as big as your face during happy hour.
Bar is closed, thank you.