A Weekend in Florence

Written by mackenziedyer May 25, 2023

Ciao! It’s hard to believe that less than a week ago, I arrived at the beautiful CIMBA campus for the first time. This first week on campus has been an exciting, fun, and welcoming experience. I’ve met people from all over 18 different universities and instantly made so many new friends. My first week of classes went great and I have already learned so much about business and life around the globe. 

For my first travel weekend, I decided to visit Florence, Italy and all I can say is WOW!!! I went with 12 of my best friends and we had the absolute best time! The city of Florence was breathtaking and I could not have asked for a better weekend to kick off the summer. Florence is filled with so many places to see and things to do. It’s almost impossible to pack everything into 2 days, but I would say we did a pretty good job. In this blog post, I wanted to do a little recap of my weekend in Florence and share some of my favorite parts. 

During the summer session, the typical school schedule at CIMBA is Monday-Thursday. However, since classes began on Tuesday on the first week, we had class on Friday morning. After class ended at 11:45 am, my friends and I packed up our bags and headed to the train station. We left Castelfranco and took a train directly to Florence. I was a little nervous about navigating the train station, but we made it to our destination with no issue. We arrived in Florence around 6:30 on Friday. Our hotel was located 5 minutes away from the train station and in a perfect area close to everything we wanted to see. After getting settled in, we walked around the center of the town and grabbed a delicious dinner at Pinocchio. This was my first true Italian meal outside of Paderno, so I wanted to try something out of my comfort zone. I got the Spinach Truffle Ravioli and when I tell you it was the best pasta I have ever had, it was incredible!! After dinner, we came across a rooftop restaurant and bar called View of the Art. We didn’t know what to expect but the view from the rooftop was amazing. We sat right next to the Duomo and it’s definitely a place I recommend checking out. Gelato is a staple in Italy, so of course we had to treat ourselves after dinner. We grabbed gelato at Vinichi and it was absolutely delicious.  

On Saturday, we woke up super early and grabbed breakfast at a cute cafe on the corner of our street. Their coffee and croissants were delicious and we ended up going back multiple times throughout our weekend. After breakfast, we walked to the Duomo. This building is one of the most astonishing things I’ve ever seen and definitely a popular tourist attraction. We took some quick pictures and grabbed a delicious lunch before heading to Accademia Gallery. My friends and family mentioned that the Statue of David is incredible and one thing I should definitely see while abroad, so I booked my tour ticket ahead of time. The line for the museum was extremely long, so I definitely recommend booking your tour in advance. It saved us so much time and we got to skip the line. The museum was fascinating and definitely a place you should add to your places to see. We ended our night at a very yummy restaurant called Trattoria L’Oriuolo. Our waiter was fantastic and loved getting to learn more about our time in Italy. 

Our train home on Sunday was not until the early evening, so we got to enjoy most of the day walking around Florence. One place we all wanted to see was Piazzale Michelangelo, so we woke up around 9 am and walked to that area. Michelangelo was about a 40-minute walk from our hotel, but it was definitely worth it. On the way there we came across a bridge overlooking the Arno River. The view was beautiful and it was fun to see all the canoes floating throughout the river. We hiked up the trails to the top of the hill which overlooked the city of Florence and the view was AMAZING! We could see the whole city of Florence and all the things around it. When you’re out all day and touring the city, you feel like you’ve seen most of it, but in reality, we didn’t even see ⅓ of it. Traveling with 12 people is definitely not easy, but I was so impressed with how smoothly everything went this weekend. Every restaurant, store, and museum we went in was so accommodating and kind. This weekend was filled with so much laughter and love and I made so many memories I will never forget. 

Since returning from my exhilarating and fun travel weekend, all I can think about is how lucky I am to have this experience. I keep thinking to myself “Someone just pinch me already”. I never in a million years would have dreamed that this experience would be a reality for me and even better to have my friends by my side. This past weekend was an absolute dream turned to reality and I can’t wait to see what the next 3 weeks abroad have in store!

Next stop Cinque Terre… Ci sentiamo presto!