Insights: news and views from the International Center

International Center

University of Missouri

Gastronomy: the art of eating good food

Filed in Blog, Italy, Netherlands by on April 18, 2013

Our spring break journey has now led us to beautiful Italy! First stop, the Pisa airport. We spent very little time here mostly because it was cheaper to fly into Pisa than to fly into Florence. Pisa is a small town, the only attraction in it is, of course, the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Almost everyone there was a tourist: the city was packed with field trips, tour groups, souvenir shops and other foreigners like us. It really does amaze me that this giant old building still hasn’t fallen. We took the classic “holding up” the Leaning Tower pictures, however mine was far from perfect…

Pisa, Italy
Pisa, Italy

After perfecting our tower pictures we hopped on the next bus to Florence. Only about an hour away from Pisa, we arrived shortly and went straight to bed considering our long day/night traveling from Barcelona. Again we had someone to stay with in Florence, which was extremely convenient. We even upgraded to a pull-out couch! One catch, there were three of us… and I got the middle. If I’m learning anything from study abroad it is how to sleep anywhere and everywhere there is empty space. The apartment we stayed at was a short walk from the Piazza del Signoria and the girls we stayed with knew all of the best restaurants in the city. For dinner, we went to a pizza place near their house. This was no Gumby’s pizza; it was 100 times better, hands down the best pizza I have ever tasted. Without any objections we went straight to a gelato place. Not only is the gelato in Italy amazing, but they have a type of dessert called semifreddo which literally means “semi frozen.” Similar to gelato, but creamier and as implied by the name, less cold.

Florence, Italy

Fountain of Neptune in Piazza della Signoria

Florence, Italy

Ponte Vecchio

Luckily for us, the apartment was also a short walk from the Duomo, which is one of my favorite sights in Europe thus far. The outside is so intricate it almost looks fake. After climbing 463 stairs you are rewarded with the most gorgeous view of the city of Florence. Let’s just say it was worth every step.

Florence, Italy
Florence, Italy
Florence, Italy
Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

“Someday I’ll be here with someone.” – written inside the walls of the Duomo

Of course, we got gelato before climbing the Duomo, as well as after (as a reward of course). We then went to a restaurant that specializes in wine and cheese platters. Of course it was delicious, I considered this a bit of a pre-dinner. Attempting to work up an appetite, we climbed more stairs to reach the Piazzale Michelangelo, another beautiful view of the city overlooking the Arno river.  We followed our short walk with a giant plate of spaghetti, and (you guessed it) more gelato. It really is a mystery to me how Italians stay so skinny.

Florence, Italy

Florence was the perfect combination of good food and beautiful architecture, I couldn’t have asked for anything more.  I was sad to leave; however, we still had two cities left on our spring break adventure that I couldn’t wait to see!

Comments are closed.