By Jurgita Tuzikaite –
Semester abroad is always exciting, but when your destination is Florence, then life is truly beautiful. At first it seems like a beautiful chaos, narrow charming streets bustling with tourists, outspoken tour guides leading them to museums, busy barmen making another fragrant cup of espresso, sonorous Italian language ringing everywhere, buzzing Vespas followed by clattering horses and dreamy street artists sketching it all.
The city of Dante filled with rich collections of priceless artworks attracts students from all over the world to study literature, art, history and languages. However, in many medieval cities like Florence student scene is not apparent and best locations are not included in guide books. Italians know that students’ best friend is caffeine; therefore, most stimulating places to study are the ones with unlimited access to good coffee. For example, the Oblate library, a true oasis for students, houses a cafeteria in a large open terrace where you can write your thesis with the view to Duomo. Otherwise, if you need to concentrate on your book you can hide away in a peaceful garden of Libri Liberi café. There the atmosphere is so relaxed that you can easily forget a noisy city life just few steps away and spoil yourself with a glass of excellent Spritz.
Also, for a quiet inspiration there is no better place than Todo Modo bookshop where you can study surrounded by towering bookshelves while sipping good Italian coffee. If you feel like trying something new order a cold-brew coffee in café Ditta Artigianale, a place with a lively atmosphere and good music. Once you are done with studying there is no better way to recharge your batteries than with a good company and a nice appetitive under an open sky in Le Murate, a renowned former prison and trendy spot to listen to live performances. Following the advices of locals you would usually end up in La Cite, a refreshingly relaxed café bar with a bohemian vibe where live bands take up the stage in the evenings. For those who love o dance the night away there are clubs like the Space club resembling a wild neon jungle with a large dance floor and energetic DJs, or Dolce Zucchero for those who love to lose themselves in Latin and Reggaeton rhythms. However you chose to spend your evening, no good night out is complete without a visit to a secret bakery. These nearly mythical places are scattered across all Florence, and finding one is a challenge. Nevertheless, those who succeed to track down the sweet aroma to an unmarked location are rewarded with freshly baked pastry and a sense of grand accomplishment. In the end, there are no one set of rules on how immerse yourself in an artsy flow Florence lifestyle as an international student. It is a joy of unexpected discoveries which will make up your most memorable experiences. Regard Florence as a play field and write your own rules.