Europe Guide

**under construction**

Things to See and Do


  • Santa Maria del Fiore, aka The Duomo, plus the Baptistery and Campanile
  • Santa Maria Novella
  • San Lorenzo
  • Santa Croce
  • Orsanmichele
  • the Uffizi
  • the leather market around San Lorenzo
  • Mercato Centrale
  • Piazza del Mercato Nuovo–sells more leather goods
  • Palazzo Vecchio
  • Piazza della Signoria
  • Ponte Vecchio
  • Palazzo Pitti
  • Boboli Gardens
  • Chiesa di San Felice
  • Santo Spirito
  • San Frediano
  • La Tinaia Firenze–via di San Salvi 12; take the #3 (or 6-check the schedule) bus to the Alberti stop, walk through the underpass of the autostrada to the tunnel under the train tracks, and walk east to the San Salvi gate.  Tickets can be purchased at any tabaccheria; make sure to get them time stamped on the bus.  You may have to make an appointment to actually go inside La Tinaia, but the walk around San Salvi is beautiful.


  • Roman Amphitheatre
  • the Cathedral
  • San Domenico and Cimabue’s Crucifix
  • San Francesco
  • San Agostino
  • Piazza Grande
  • the park at the top of the hill, with the Fortezza Medicea overlooking the Tuscan countryside

Cinque Terre

Because I spent most of my limited time sleeping at the beach in Monterosso, I would definitely recommend that particular activity.  Swimming is highly recommended.  Cinque Terre is known for its pesto, so find a restaurant that serves it.  Walking around the other towns, and maybe hiking the coastal trail between Riomaggiore and Monterosso.  A train ticket to move between towns can be bought in La Spezia, and also permits you to walk the trail.

Siena and San Gimignano

  • Siena Duomo
  • say hi to Saint Catherine of Siena in Basilica di San Domenico
  • get gelato at one of the two “Best Gelato in the World” places in San G
  • if you happen to be in Italy during July or August, try to go to Il Palio
  • people watch in Piazza del Campo
  • wine tasting at Tenuta Torciano, outside San G

Monteriggioni and Il Chianti

I definitely recommend horseback riding around Chianti.  There are a number of tours who will provide this.  Afterwards, head up to Monteriggioni for some wine tasting.


  • Diocletian Palace
  •  take a boat out to the island Brac and look around Postira, and then find a beach to swim at
  • wander around Trogir
  • spend the day at Krka National Park

Places to Stay

Firenze and Tuscany

I lived in an apartment provided by CEA while I was in Firenze; however, there are numerous places to stay for budget travelers.  Lonely Planet and Rough Guides (always check customer reviews on Tripadvisor or similar sites before booking) are excellent sources for budget hotels and hostels around the world.

Split, Croatia

I definitely recommend the Goli+Bosi Design Hostel in Split.  It’s clean and safe and the beds are comfortable.  The only complaint I have is about the ladders to the second bunks–they’re built into the wall, so there’s risk of your foot getting stuck and twisting an ankle.  Otherwise, they have free wifi, breakfast in their ground-level restaurant, De Belly, and it’s right in the heart of Split, inside the Diocletian Palace on the quay by the water.  They have dorm-style rooms with a private bathroom for the room (4-6 people; €20-33); as well as different suites and single rooms (€48-155).



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