What to Know about Florence, Italy

Trivial things I learned in Florence

Name: Kim Le
Major: Art and Design
Hometown: Hochimin, Vietnam
Destination: Florence, Italy
Institution: TU in Italy: Lorenzo de’Medici, Florence campus

1. Street signs are on the buildings, not on a pole in the corner, or hanging in the middle of the streets. And since most of them are so old and made of stone, chance are good that they are hard to read, missing letters, or better yet, covered by construction.

Florence, Italy study abroad

Signs in Florence, Italy

2. There are water fountains. Drinkable water fountains, though I am somewhat wary since a professor told me back in the day they recycled the old marble coffins as bowls for these water fountains. However, since the Florence tourist website says it is safe to drink this water, I would assume that I am just being paranoid. Still, the water fountains are everywhere in the city, and they have very cool decorations.

3. It will rain or it will shine–actually, it will  probably do both. Weather forecasts are not accurate in Florence, for whenever it wants to rain or shine, the weather completely disregards the forecast. I have had weekends when the forecast said there would be thunderstorm, and it turned out perfectly sunny, and vice versa. Tip? Bring an umbrella all time, and maybe, maybe, if I really want to take that perfect trip, just ignore the rainy forecast and hope for the best.

4. Move away, there is a horse! Yes, there are horses walking on Florence’s streets, mostly in the historic center, but it is a very real possibility that someone might get in the way of a horse or two. They are only for touristic purposes, but still, it is amusing trying to avoid a horse carriage while walking to class.

Florence, Italy Study Abroad

Horses galore in Florence, Italy!

5. Churches, churches everywhere! I lost count of how many churches I walk pass on my way to the market, the river or basically anywhere. While most churches are in Italian (as they should be!), there are some churches that offer mass in English, including the great Duomo. Most churches themselves deserve to be a tourist attraction for their architectural style and ages, plus some even have creepy ghost stories of their own!