Florence is a beautiful, carb-filled paradise. Heart-shaped pizzas in fiery brick ovens declare their burning passion for you. An intense longing grows in your soul if you’re separated from your favorite panino for too long. Around each corner, decadent gelato does its best to seduce you. As you pass trays of cornetti (custard-filled croissants the size of your head) in bakery windows, they call out to you, saying, “Forget about egg whites! I’m the breakfast choice that can really make you happy.”
While eating delicious food is an absolutely essential part of experiencing Florence, after a while, your pantaloni might start feeling a little bit tight. The good news is that you’ll be walking a lot more than usual, but if you want to take your fitness up a notch (or work off that jar of Nutella you just consumed) try out one of these fun calorie-burning activities:
Hike to Piazzale Michelangelo
When was the last time Instagramming your #workout looked this good? The climb to Piazzale Michelangelo is steep and well paved, making it perfect for both walking and intense interval training. Go early in the morning or later at night to watch the sunrise/sunset and avoid the biggest tourist crowds.
Looking for an added challenge? Hike up further to see San Miniato al Monte and get an even better view.
Climb to the top of the Duomo
What stair master can offer you 877 stairs of burn AND ancient history? Climb 463 stairs and reach the top of the dome and experience some breathtaking views. Afterward, you can climb 414 stairs to the top of the bell tower. Are you sweating yet?
Rent a Bicycle
Biking in the city can let you explore different parts of Florence that you never knew existed and who doesn’t love a good bike ride? Ride through the city on a rental bicycle and attempt to look half as chic as some Florentine cyclists.
Get a Gym Membership
There are a lot of fantastic gym options in Florence (like the Swan Gymnastic Center above). Getting on an elliptical or treadmill is a comforting and effective way to deal with homesickness and the general stress that comes with travel and study abroad. Plus, an Italian Zumba class is guaranteed to be ridiculously entertaining.
Go to the gelateria on the other side of the city
When you live above a gelateria or down the street from Florence’s best kebab place, things can get out of hand quickly. If you decide to go for a treat, check out places that aren’t so conveniently located. You’ll be able to see more of the city (and justify that second scoop of gelato).