Whether living in Florence for 4 months or 4 years, the temptation of travel is always present. The idea of catching a cheap flight into another country or unknown city is alluring and can make for some of the best memories. However, it is worth knowing the ins and outs of smart travel and how to make the most of a travel adventure while staying in Europe.
Having had the experience of studying in Florence for an extended amount of time, I have had the opportunity to explore a variety of ways to see a new city. Some of my favorite adventures have been extremely fun while also being very affordable. When visiting a new city, one of the best ways to get to know a place is through the eyes of a local. Airbnb provides a fantastic way to book your stay as the hosts that provide the apartment/room usually welcome you upon arrival and give a lot of suggestions on what to do. They can give you tips on cool areas and things to do that aren’t on the typical TripAdvisor list.
Florence is a really well-connected city that has great ground transportation. Traveling by train can be an excellent way to get to know the terrain of a European city before arriving to your destination, creating a more intimate connection to the country/ city of choice. The Italian high-speed trains make for a scenic and more thoughtful journey. This also gives you the option to stop at another location on the way, making for more spontaneous travel.
Staying within a country, such as Italy, allows for local travel. Each region of Italy is very diverse and has many different types of traditions and culture to offer, all of which are worth exploring and getting to know. Staying local is an advantage when staying in this beautiful country and exploring the small towns of Tuscany such as Arezzo, Lucca, Volterra, San Gimigniano, and many more. Among the many regions in Italy some of my favorites that aren’t as populated by tourists are Puglia, Lombardia, Emilia Romagna, and Sardegna.
Instead of traveling to the major cities of Europe, look for hidden gems that aren’t as well-known. Usually these places have a history that isn’t well written in our history books and provide a wider perspective when experiencing Europe. A hidden gem are the islands in the Mediterranean. Malta is an independent country, which has a very international population with very Easter architecture. Spain also has many islands that extend to close proximity to Africa such as the Canary Islands. Among these islands is Tenerife that happens to be so close to Africa that the sands from Africa can be seen over the ocean as the winds bring them closer to the island.
All in all, Europe is a continent whose culture is dense and offers many places worth experiencing. Trying out some of these tips while traveling can heighten your travel experience while giving you a different way of seeing a new place.