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"The world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page," said St. Augustine.

As the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, students have traveled from all over the world to experience Florence's rich history and warm culture.

5. Travel

Being in Florence gives you the flexibility to explore not only Italy but all that Europe has to offer. New adventures are practically right at your fingertips.

“As somebody who travels quite often, Florence is the best place to be for travelers,” said travel blogger Ally Arrigo. “Three hour flights to Amsterdam, London and Prague are just a short hour and a half to Paris and Barcelona. Florence puts you right in the middle of everything.”

4. Nightlife

Florence offers the perfect nightlife environment for college students. Enjoy your evenings by sitting outside of one of its charming bars and restaurants before hitting one of Florence’s luxurious clubs. If clubbing is not your scene, Florence offers a variety laid-back student bars and lounges where you can mingle with a diverse mix of locals and International students.

3. Italian Food and Wine

Tuscany is the perfect place to explore the best food and wine Italy has to offer. Not only is the city itself home to some of the best restaurants in the world, but Tuscany is one of the largest producers of wine. Spend the day becoming a wine connoisseur and visit one of the many Tuscan vineyards while tasting and learning about Chianti, Brunello of Montalcino and Morellino of Scansano.

"Florence is the perfect location to expand your knowledge of the culinary arts and wine industry," said SAI Programs ambassador Kelsie Stanley. "Italians use fresh ingredients and local flavors in all of their dishes which provides mouth-watering meals paired with equally as outstanding wines."

2. The Art and Architecture

"Even after living in Florence for five months and returning twice since then, Florence is still jaw-dropping," said Stanley. "The history, art and architecture that surround you every day while you walk the streets makes for an almost dream-like existence."

Florence has managed to preserve some of the greatest works of art and architecture of its time. Perhaps the most wonderful quality about Florence is that it is rich in culture yet unpretentious. The region has inspired many renowned artists such as Brunelleschi, Donatello, Masaccio, Botticelli, Paolo Uccello and not to mention the universal genius of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.

1. Discovering Yourself

It is overwhelming to move to another country and  remove yourself from your comfort zone. By immersing yourself into a new culture, you gain the opportunity to be reborn into an unfamiliar world with a different set of ideals, values and language. Students who travel to Florence leave with a fresh perspective on the world around them and more importantly, a deeper understanding of who they are.

"Studying abroad in Florence is life changing," said Stanley. "It opens your eyes to show you how large the globe is and how many larger issues there are in the world. It also shows you that the world is quite small and how everyone everywhere wants the same things: to be happy, healthy and have food, friends and family to enjoy life with."

(Photographs by Alex Tisdale)

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