By Sami Ramsey
Rainy season is still here. Surprise! And although you might love to be curled up on the couch catching up on episodes of your favorite show and eating a whole bag of paprika chips, there is too much to see your short semester here. Don’t let the dreary weather get you down. You’ve come here to study in Florence for three reasons: the art, the history, and well of course, the food. All which can easily be experienced under the Tuscan rain. Here is a list of some things to accomplish on a rainy day.
Visit a Museum:
1. Gawk at the original Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia Galleria. 2. Spend all day in the Uffizi Gallery. Built in 1580, the Ufflizi building once served as offices for the Florentine magistrates.
3. Be blown away by the floors in the Medici Princes Chapel. If you don’t know where this is then Google it now, and then go see it in person. 4. If you’re into fashion, go to the Gucci Museum. Because, well…it’s Gucci.
5. See the contemporary and historic art in Palazzo Strozzi: Thursday evenings are free admission to some exhibits.
6. Palatine Gallery: Inside the massive Palazzo Pitti, this gallery contains work by some of Florence’s masters, including Raphael and Andrea del Sarto. This is a great place to go when you don’t want to deal with the crowds.
Tour Basilica Santa Maria Novella: one of the prettiest and most underestimated buildings in Florence. The building itself contains over 8 small chapels dedicated to well-known 14-15th century Florentines. And it’s only 3 euro to tour. See the Perfumerie: This centuries-old pharmacy/perfumerie is a largely undiscovered and interesting part of Florence’s cultural history. There are multiple objects on display related to the production of medicines, natural creams, and perfumes. Let’s not forget the ornate ceilings and beautifully decorated rooms. It’s open every day 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and is located behind Santa Maria Novella.
Go Wine Tasting: Overlook a Tuscan landscape and “Cin,Cin!” vino rossa… Or perhaps pop into a wine bar, such as Pozzo Divino, and sip on some wine as you watch the raindrops fall on the windowpane. Every day is a great day to get happy on Italian wine.
Take a Cooking Class: Sign up for a cooking class at the Central Market. I mean, you’re in Italy for goodness sake! There’s no place better to learn culinary arts. Pull pasta straight from the pasta maker and top it off with freshly made pesto.
Visit the Central Market, aka Mercato Centrale: Roam the central market and pick up your own supplies for dinner. There are plenty of Italian culinary specialties, picnic goods, and ready to eat food (not to mention free samples) to keep you entertained for hours. Indulge in a cappuccino, or hot chocolate: Pair your hot drinks with a piece of cake in one of the coffee shops in Piazza della Republica such as Gilli, Rivoire, or on the top floor of Rinascente as you overlook the city. Rivoire is renowned for its hot chocolate and Gilli has the perfect coffeehouse atmosphere.
Hike the tower of the Duomo: regardless of the rain, the view from the top of the Duomo will most likely be one the most spectacular views you’ll ever see. Plus you’re covered the entire climb up and you can pat yourself on the back for being active on a gloomy day.
Read a book at Biblioteca Nazionale: And if you are truly craving a relaxing day indoors, you might as well breathe in the culture and history of this library while doing so. Plenty of books and corridors to explore, and an easy way to relive life like they did a couple centuries ago.