Spring Term


At the end of each term, departing students leave written tips for future SACI students. This page contains advice from departing Spring Term students.

Traveling by bicycle is a great way to discover Florence“Get lost. The first week I just walked around for long periods of time with no idea where I was. After that week, I found that I recognized many areas, and it helped me navigate the city better.” M.I. (Spring 2015)

“Be patient with yourself and others, and ask lots of questions of staff and returning stuents, who are more acclimated.” n.n. (Spring 2015)

“Bug spray and an open mind. You will have a wonderful experience if you don’t let the small cultural differences bother you.” n.n. (Spring 2015)

“You don’t have to tip. If they ask you to, it’s probably a scam.” n.n. (Spring 2015)

“Make sure you get to the other side of the river! It’s beautiful and quiet over there.” C.L. (Spring 2015)

“Experience as much as you can. Bring fall attire – it doesn’t get warm until April. Try all art supplies here. Be prepared to not have a clothes drier, oven, or dishwasher.” K.Y. (Spring 2015)

“Osteria Santo Spirito!” M.H. (Spring 2015)

“Give yourself a good budget for food. There is so much to eat here and it is worth the investment to eat out and try everything.” A.M. (Spring 2015)

“Trattoria Pallottino near Santa Croce! It is amazing. Definitely check it out.” A.V. (Spring 2015)

“Do research before arriving in Florence, like reading guide books and blogs. That way, you know better what you want to see, and can immediately start exploring.” S.N. (Spring 2015)

“Always have a map when walking around.” C.S. (Spring 2015)

“Get a bike, change your life.” n.n. (Spring 2015)

“Pack lightly: tons of beautiful vintage stores!” A.B. (Spring 2015)

“Learn the train and bus systems early on so that you can make the most of long weekends throughout the semester.” I.J. (Spring 2015)

“Don’t forget to spend a considerable amount of time working in the studio. Let the foreign experience have an outlet in your work.” A.S (Spring 2015)

“Day trips: Viareggio is very nice.” n.n. (Spring 2015)

“Gusta Pizza has the best pizza ever!” K.C. (Spring 2015)

“La Carraia, a gelato place on the other side of the Arno is great.” M.S. (Spring 2015)

“Get out of Florence and explore the smaller towns around it. Then you will really experience the Italian culture. Florence can become too touristy depending on the season.” J.D. (Spring 2015)

“For Christian student groups, look up GBU Firenze. Being a part of this group helped me find a community to be a part of and gave me the opportunity to meet Italian students.” n.n. (Spring 2015)

“Go to Nobile Bistro. It’s just a couple blocks away from Palazzo dei Cartelloni. It’s a cute little place owned by a couple who make amazing sandwiches.” J.H. (Spring 2015)

"Take the buses to Fiesole and nearby towns - it's very easy to get to the beautiful Florentine countryside." n.n. (Spring 2014)

"The Florence Botanical Gardens are a great way to spend a sunny afternoon" n.n. (Spring 2014)

"Go on trips with Helen! It's the best way to see Italy, and it's included in your tuition!" n.n. (Spring 2014)

"Don't immediately start shopping when you get here, it's more fun to stumble across hidden antique places and second hand clothes stores. Also, invest in traveling, it'll be worth it!" H.R. (Spring 2014)

"Pack very lightly, especially if you plan to bring home the things you buy here." M.M. (Spring 2014)

"Bring clothes for both winter and spring weather. Explore the things closest to where you live, they are the easiest to miss!" K.A. (Spring 2014)

"Take a conservation class: they are the classes of a lifetime!" M.D.M. (Spring 2014)

"Don't be afraid to ask teachers for their favorite places (restaurants, gelato stores, trips to other European countries, etc.)" T.G. (Spring 2014)

"Think about leaving space in your suitcase for new items. Although panini for 3 euro are tempting, save the money for fun nights at a nice restaurant: that's what you will remember, not the daily sandwich shop." J.G. (Spring 2014)

"Go to the Bargello and the Boboli Gardens!" O.W. (Spring 2014)

"Don't bring guidebooks, there are tons in the apartments! Try Wild Boar, it's delicious." L.H. (Spring 2013)

"Check out the many vegetarian and vegan restaurants, they are amazing and worth the walk." C.S. (Spring 2013)

"Bati near Palazzo Maidoff has cheap art supplies and hardware supplies" n.n. (Spring 2013)


"Go on as many Field Trips as you can: it is much better than going on your own because you know what you will be looking at" n.n. (Spring 2013)

"Shopping for groceries at markets is much cheaper! Think about the size of your art if you plan to carry it back in your luggage. Number one rule: be friendly and try to use as much Italian as you can and the locals will treat you like a Florentine instead of a tourist." K.G. (Spring 2013)

"Visit Palazzo Pitti and the Stibbert Museum!" D.H. (Spring 2013)

"Don't stay at home! Take advantage of every free minute: even if you just walk around the streets, Florence is always charming and entertaining. Take trains on weekends to visit places like Rome, Milan, Pisa and Venice. Pack warm clothes for January and February" A.B. (Spring 2013)

"Keep a journal: you will see, do and experience so much. Give yourself a way to remember it all." A.O. (Spring 2013)

"Girls - don't bring heels! The cobblestone pavements will tear them up and you could sprain an ankle!" n.n. (Spring 2013)

"I highly recommend going to the Restaurant Acqua al Due to try their Blueberry Steak. When the weather is nice, go rent a bike and explore Florence for a few hours: it gets you places faster and you end up in places you wouldn't plan to go if you were just walking" n.n. (Spring 2013)

"Visit museums in January and February: after Easter it can get very crowded!" n.n. (Spring 2013)

“I would recommend Mario’s. It only serves lunch, but it is very local and has fantastic Florentine food that is cheap. You have to go early to get a seat, but it’s well worth it. n.n. (Spring 2012)

“Pack light. Bring your own computer. Bring an extra hard drive and/or flash drives. Don’t expect to find cheap electronics here.” S.F. (Spring 2012)

“Go to Mama’s Bakery for an American breakfast. Plan trips in the beginning that come later in the semester. Spend time in Florence, too!” n.n. (Spring 2012)

“Trattoria da I’ Boia has the best pizza I have ever had.” n.n. (Spring 2012)

“Don’t sleep the second you get here – walk around and meet people once you arrive – it’s worth it.” E.A. (Spring 2012)

"Take advantage of the Central Market. Vendors offer better deals and fresher produce than supermarkets. The experience/atmosphere is interesting and enjoyable. I know students this term who never even went once!” M.G. (Spring 2012).

“Go to the Oblate Library to do homework, meet actual Italian students and hear live music on weeknights. Great café there, too. Amazing views.” n.n. (Spring 2012)

“Try to go to a museum at least once a week.” n.n. (Spring 2012)

“Go to the Sant’Ambrogio market. It’s a little out of the way, but less touristy and really great.” A.J. (Spring 2012)