Home Travel Italy Quick Trip: 48 Hours Like A Local

Quick Trip: 48 Hours Like A Local

Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

Travel Tips:

Tip #1

“When coming to Italy it might sound exciting to cram in as many cities, sites, and experiences as possible. It’s not as good of an idea as it sounds. You’ll end up making yourself cranky and exhausted which will taint your view. Pick a few major cities and spend a lot of time in each one. Go to see an opera, have a nice relaxing dinner, sit outside and have a long, long coffee. Italy isn’t a place to speed visit, your best bet is to come here to relax, as the locals do.”


Is Italy Dangerous? No. Compared to the United States it is extremely safe. Yes, sometimes people steal bags (as they do in New York) so just keep your hand on it. You’ll be fine.

What To Do In Florence To Be A Local

  • Rent a bike and ride it everywhere you go for the duration of your stay. You’ll see more, and you’ll be making your way around like the locals do.
  • Go to Piazza Ambrosia, Piazza Santa Spirito around 10-11 p.m. to take a drink outside. On the weekends the piazza will always be full of locals drinking and chatting.
  • Have aperitivo around 8 p.m. at Kitch (via san gallo) or most bars in Florence. You’ll get an alcoholic beverage and food for around 7 euros. For an Italian this is not dinner, rather a pre-dinner drink and snack.
  • Go to the top floor of the library and drink a coffee while admiring the view of the city.
  • If you’re young and/or hip go to Flog on Friday or Saturday night for a live concert or dancing.
  • If you’re young and want to dance and be pestered by really aggressive eastern european men, go to Blob around 1 a.m. The place is also full of Americans studying in Florence, and Local Italians.

Tip # 2

Dealing with Men. Are men more aggressive? In Tuscany, no, in fact Tuscan men are pansies in general. They might cat-call but if you ignore them or tell them to knock it off they usually will stop. However, you won’t know how to tell the difference where people are from and people are more aggressive towards women in some  countries. Often times, men lie about where they are from if they come from a country with a bad stereotype. For example, Albanian and Morrocan men often claim to be Italian to avoid prejudice. Now, stereotypes are stupid, and not usually true, however, culturally, some places are just more aggressive than American culture and some of the Eastern European countries are like that. Just be smart. Be stern and use a simple, “No.” And don’t nervously giggle when you do that. It comes off as flirty here and nobody will take you seriously. European women are more outwardly bitchy than most American women, so take it as a green light to turn around and give a nasty look and say, “no.” Subtlety will get you nowhere here my friends. Also, don’t be stupid. Don’t go off alone with men in any country EVER. That is how women get raped. Just don’t do it. Yes, Italy is safe, but it isn’t full of saints and stupid behavior is dangerous wherever you are in the world. Just to give you an idea: 90% of the rapes in Florence are eastern European men raping American women. Why? The girls get wasted, are not paying attention, and end up hanging out with guys who are not good people. Just don’t.

Wander the dark alleys of Florence with a bottle of wine and some friends.

Wander the dark alleys of Florence with a bottle of wine and some friends.

Things That Every Student Should Do At Least Once

by Jonathan Fasano

Ride a bicycle through the cobblestone streets and bypass all of the tourists.

Soak up the sun outside of a cafe and watch the people go by.

Walk behind two old men walking arm in arm, arguing in Italian.

Eat mixed seafood appetizers on the great lawn of a piazza.

Get on a train and enjoy the ride. Don’t worry about where you’ll end up. Relish the landscape and let go of all your worries.

Discover a midnight bakery and remember how to get back. (Remember to be silent so they don’t get fined).

Go to a Gay Club (YAG) with your friends and don’t be afraid to show that fancy footwork.


Valeria November 26, 2013 at 2:40 pm

I am planning my next trip to Italia. I am thinking about Siena and the Palio di Siena – either July 2 or Aug 16. Am I nuts to even think about going there during those events? I am somewhat horse-crazy – I have 2 horses. One I adopted this past year as his owner lives out of state and could no longer pay his board. He is an old sweet guy and think he should stay where he’s at and eat grass/hay all day. The other is my baby, Charlie. He’s 22. (He’s my major hurdle in moving to another country. He must come with me.) I was reading some articles and I am, unfortunately, not that surprised to hear about concerns by animal rights groups. It sounds like there has been some improvement the past few years, but probably not ideal.

jldesantis December 17, 2013 at 1:26 am

hi! i love your blog. I came across it today while doing research about italy. I recently found out that I was accepted into an 8 week internship program in florence and milan next summer, and i’m super excited for it. I just wanted to shoot you a quick note and say thanks for this blog. it’s making me laugh while i’m beginning the process of preparing for this crazy adventure. you’re a cool chick! thanks.

M.E. Evans December 19, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Thanks love! Which program are you attending? Let me know if you have any questions about locating an apartment or anything in general. 🙂

Jamaica DeSantis December 24, 2013 at 1:41 am

thanks for the reply. i’m a student at arizona state, but they’re working with a company called global experiences to set up the internships. thanks for the offer to help me find a place, but i’ll be in a home share situation in florence and student housing while i’m in milan. i hope this doesn’t sound creepy, but i’d love to grab a coffee or drink with you if you happen to have the time while i’m there. no pressure. i promise i’m sane and not a stalker;) i’ve never solicited a meet up with a complete stranger over the internet before, but i want to live like a local while i’m there and meeting one seems like a good first start. let me know how you feel about that.

cara May 13, 2014 at 8:34 pm

Hi! thanks for the helpful information, I love your blog! I came across it while researching about Florence as I am moving their in 2 weeks! I decided to quit my corporate job in NYC, and work for the first time as an au pair just for the summer months… I am very excited/nervous about the transition and I know absolutely no one in the city except the family I will be staying with. I’ve joined a few facebook pages for au pairs in Florence, but have noticed that most of them are younger then me and was wondering if you have any tips on how to meet people in their mid 20’s/early 30’s. Hope to hear back from you! Thanks again for all the great tips 🙂

M.E. Evans May 15, 2014 at 4:30 am


Yes! There is a Facebook group called Italian Reflections. You’ll find a diverse group of really awesome expats there. 😉

Caitlin August 20, 2014 at 1:08 pm

I love your blog! I discovered it while doing research because I’m spending all of next year in Florence for my study abroad! Thanks for the amusing and helpful tips :).

SamantaSao February 19, 2015 at 8:20 am

As italian i am happy to hear your positive feedback. I would like suggest you Guide Me Right service which will make your travel more comfortable while you are in Italy. Local Italians will take care of you and let you involve local activities.


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