Wandering through the streets of Florence stomach full of pasta, lips stained with Florence’s favorite shade of red (Chianti) is the best way to take in what the city has to offer: having the perfect afternoon of intoxicating yourself on the beauty of the city (& the wine) while losing yourself in the streets. But how does one experience this moment? Well, it’s actually quite simple. We’ve laid out a simple step-by-step guide of how to lose yourself in the moment when you make the pilgrimage to the capital of pasta.
STEP 1: THE BEST PLAN IS TO HAVE NO PLAN
Forget all of the plans you made for that day. Yes, you’ve got to see the Ponte Vecchio and the Uffizi, but after you’ve hit all of the tourist hot spots (which are all conveniently located near each other) and want to experience the best Florence has to offer, come with no plan. Better yet, if you have plans, make sure they’re flexible in case the stars align for your magical Florence moment to happen. There’s no itinerary to make this happen for you (maybe…until now) so just prepare yourself by clearing your schedule for the day.
STEP 2: MAKE FRIENDS TO SHARE THE EXPERIENCE WITH YOU
Once you have no plan, you’re free to wander (we promise it’s impossible to get lost) and take advantage of whatever the city has to offer, whether this be free wine, beautiful sunsets, or new friends. Our new friends came in the form of a rag-tag team of two American photographers on assignment in Italy. One was tall and thin and had an infectious goofy smile, and his counterpart was shorter with a tangled beard and could make you laugh until your sides hurt by trying to kiss local salesmen pestering tourists to buy selfie sticks. Friends can be made anywhere, and if you’re lucky like us, you’ll make new friends at a gelato shop the night before and run into them by happenstance in the Uffizi the next day. Once you find your buddies, it’s time to move onto step three.
STEP 3: BUY A 1 EURO BOTTLE OF WINE
Forget the “two buck chuck,” Europe is famous among many study abroaders for having an even better deal: one Euro bottles of wine. Because Florence lacks any sort of open container laws (that we know of), why not incorporate it into your perfect day in the city of Florence? Stop by any convenience store or sandwich shop to pick one up, or better yet, grab two or three to share with your new friends!
Remember folks, pinkies up!
STEP 4: TOTALLY LOSE TRACK OF TIME AND ACCIDENTALLY LOCK YOUR CAR IN FLORENCE OVERNIGHT
Once you’re good and tipsy and wearing Florence’s lipstick on the Ponte Vecchio after a day of wandering, you’ll finally realize you’re capturing the magic of Florence. At this moment, you may notice the sun start to set and simultaneously remember that you did in fact have plans to go home that night, but due to the alcohol and car garage closing times, neither of these things would be possible. But no matter, you’re in Florence, and nothing can tarnish the great day you’ve had.
STEP 5: GET A LAST MINUTE HOSTEL IN FLORENCE
After searching for any open hostel to take you, you’ve finally found one. Only problem is they won’t let you stay without showing them your passport, and you did not bring it because you had no intentions on staying overnight in Florence. After pleading with the desk agent for nearly an hour (at 1am) they eventually let you stay.
STEP 6: DRIVE HOME THE NEXT MORNING SO YOU CAN START WORKING ON TIME
Waking up the next day, you might feel a lot of things, residual happiness from the previous day, anger at yourself for needing to book a last minute hostel the night before, but more than anything, you’ll discover that an incurable hangover has taken over your brain. But none of that matters because you have to rush home before 9am to sign online for work. As you leave the hostel, you hope and pray that your car is no longer locked in the garage, and by some miracle, it's not, and the traffic home is even light. You might even have time to stop and grab a cappuccino and a gas station sandwich (much better in Italy). You’re able to sign onto work on time and are able to resume business as usual, but not without remembering the happy thoughts of yesterday, when you lost yourself in the streets of Florence.