Euro Trip: Florence, Italy

April 8-11, 2017 | Florence might just be our favorite city yet.

Our stay in Florence was an all-around fabulous experience featuring classical art, sunset walks along Ponte Vecchio bridge, and the pervasive smell of Italian leather.

The absolute best part, however, was the cooking class.

After climbing onto a bus with 20 other tour-goers and driving up to a villa overlooking the Tuscan countryside, our culinary adventure began.

Over the course of 5 hours, we learned how to make (and then proceeded to eat!) ragu, bruschetta, pork roast, pasta, pizza, and tiramisú.

“But how on earth did you consume all of that?” you might ask. I’m not quite sure, to be honest, but we all found a way.


Isak, the chef and culinary tour guide, was a hilarious and knowledgable group leader. He provided detailed descriptions of each step of the cooking process and made sure everyone got intimately involved with the tasks at hand. (Exhibit A: My mom squeezing tomatoes barehanded to produce sauce for everyone’s pizza.)

My favorite activities were the pasta, pizza, and tiramisú-making because we got to have maximum creative control over the final products. I can’t wait to make more homemade pasta soon, too – it’s much easier to make than I’d imagined!

While we consumed our handiwork, we had a nice time chatting with our table-mates, who hailed from the US, Australia, England, and beyond.

Aside from the cooking class, some other highlights of our time in Florence include:

– A tour of the famous Uffizi gallery with a very informative guide named Alessandra

– 5 trips to a great restaurant called Finis Terrae: once for dinner and four times for their incredible breakfast croissants

– Visits to the Academia (for a viewing of David), Santa Croce church, and Piazzale Michelangelo

– An evening drink at the rooftop bar of the ritzy Hotel Luchesse, where we sat beside the pool and gazed out at the city lights

– A spectacular and spiritual experience at San Miniato Abbey, where we sat in complete silence and listened to the Gregorian monks perform their nightly chanting

– A chance encounter with a fellow Trinity alum, Carmel, followed almost immediately by a chance encounter with a fellow Madrid teaching assistant, Trevor! Such a small world.

As you can see, from outdoor sights to museum galleries to mouthwatering dishes, Florence has it all!

– J