Kaitlyn Williams is a student at Southern Nazarene University and an ISA Featured Blogger. He is studying abroad with ISA in Florence, Italy.
Florence is a magnificent city full of history, art, and beauty from centuries ago. It is a privilege to study here, and it certainly is not something I take for granted.
Like most students, however, I have been interested in traveling during my time abroad, and have managed to do a lot of it. Traveling while living in Europe is easy to do and is usually very affordable. It can be exhausting though, especially in shorter times such as weekends. I am studying in a very urban place, therefore, some of my favorite weekend trips have been the ones in nature. So, for those who are studying in Florence (or in a nearby area), here are my top two getaways for a relaxing, close, and nature-filled weekend:
Never heard of Cinquale? Neither had I until my wonderful “Italian Family” took my roommate and I on a weekend trip there. It is just a couple tiny towns away from Forte De Marmi on the west coast of Italy, and is the perfect place to spend a laid back weekend. With only a few restaurants a gelato place in town, this friendly community offers a great view of the nearby sea and a amazing family feeling around the town. Enjoy the view of the beach on one side of you and mountains on the other, and soak in the sun until you fall asleep on the beach (I did this and it was quite nice). The town truly is a “getaway”.
Everyone has heard of Venice, and it truly lives up to its reputation! Hundreds of canals and bridges line the streets of this city which is comprised of over 115 islands. You can (and will) get lost in the city, but seeing the gorgeous canals around every corner makes it fun. Watch out for the summertime season, however; it can get overcrowded due to tourism. A relaxing weekend in Venice would be perfectly timed in the spring or fall. Venice has a very small-town feel, but is a significant city in Florence, and relies upon the nature all around it. From eating the fish you watch fishermen catch to riding in boats along the canals, you will learn a lot about the culture of Venice in just a weekend.
Both of these places are easy to travel to from Florence, are surrounded by nature, are filled with friendly people, and are ideal for a stress-free “mini-vacation”.
The world awaits…discover it.