10 Ways To Know That You Are on Pre- College Enrichment Florence

  1. The Duomo has become your home base!

Duomo Pre college enrichment

One of the coolest things about a Pre-College Enrichment program is the freedom  explore and experience Florence like a local!  They are able to explore Florence, walk to class, lunch, and breakfast in small groups. We were all able to learn our way around Florence pretty easily by using The Duomo as our home base. It is visible from most parts of the city and is a beautiful place to see every day. On the second day of our program, we completed a photo scavenger hunt around The Duomo and joined in on a newlyweds photo shoot! Be sure to check out our photo uploads!

  1. You chose to take summer classes, but you’re in Italy so it’s okay!

Pre college Enrichment class

Summer classes can seem like a chore, but not when you’re in Italy! Our students have excelled in all of their class so far. Everyone has been learning a lot and we have been planning evening programs to put all of their new skills to the test!

  1. It took a couple of days but you have mastered the Euro!

Pre college Enrichment euros

Using different currency has been a fun challenge for some program members, but they have quickly picked up how to identify the different denominations of the Euro. Shopping at local grocery stores definitely helped!

  1. When you cross the street you look out for mopeds, not cars. 

Pre college Enrichment Mopeds

Florence is primarily a walking city, but mopeds are the second most used transportation in the area. In the early days of our program, we were sure to point out crosswalks and talk about how to safely navigate the narrow streets!

  1. You have a key to the best housing in the city

Pre college Enrichment Locks
When you open our front door you have a spectacular view of The Duomo and cafes at every corner! Our residence is located very centrally in Florence and is very comfortable. We are so lucky to have such nice and inviting living arrangements!

  1. Everywhere is a good place for a selfie with a friend. 

Pre college Enrichment

Florence is such a beautiful city, and our program members have all enjoyed taking pictures with each other and of the city! On the way to dinner, we stopped at the Ponte Vecchio bridge and spent a lot of time enjoying the sunset and taking a lot of pictures!

  1. You eat pasta or pizza once a day.

Pre college Enrichment Pizza

At the beginning of our program, we had 2 scheduled group dinners and everyone was able to understand the Italian meal structure. Now, on most days students eat the majority of their meals in groups. Fresh pizza and pasta dishes have become a favorite for the group! Especially Margherita pizza!

  1. You’re becoming an expert on Italian artists

Pre college Enrichment Museums

This week, we experienced a guided walking tour of Florence and the program members learned a lot about the architecture and art of Tuscany! We were also able to explore the Uffizi Gallery and explore a lot of art from the Renaissance period. The students can’t wait to view the original David statue soon!

  1. You’re a gelato master! 

pre college enrichment ice cream

We took a Gastronomic tour of Florence last week and learned a lot about the cuisine of the region! Of course, that included a Gelato tasting at the best Gelato shop in Italy! The program members learned about the Gelato making process and the differences between Gelato and Ice Cream. It’s safe to say that this tour was everyone’s favorite so far!

  1. You walk everywhere you go, to make room for that extra gelato.

Walking PCE Florence

You can walk across Florence’s city center in less than 30 minutes, which makes it an amazing walking city! On PCE Florence we walk to class, meals, and our activities. It’s a great way to learn more about the city, find shortcuts, and new restaurants!

Ciao for now!

The Westcoast Blogger

If you think this sounds like fun learn more about joining one of our 21-day or 28-day student trips to gain pre-university enrichment with classes at college in Florence, Italy.


From Siena to Cinq Terre – Florence Pre-College Enrichment

Eppur, si muove!

By Thursday and Friday each student had started to notice small idiosyncrasies about the city of Florence, and the students’ free time was filled with curiosity and self-discovery. The Digital Photography was actively working on shooting and editing photographs related to fashion, and some students, like AnneMarie, have even started a photo blog on Tumblr where they post their top photographs. Across town, Cooking has learned how to whip up panzanella e bruschetta al pomodoro, and journeyed through a bakery tour where they tasted different types of breads and pastries.

For many individuals, Friday was one of the highlights of the program for multiple reasons. In the morning everyone went to see Michelangelo’s Statue of David at the museum, Galleria de Academia. Our museum and city tour leader, Marchello, was quite a vibrant character and knew tons of information about Florence’s history and the families that once ruled the streets. Who knew that Michelangelo died the same year Galileo was born? And who knew that da Vinci and Michelangelo hated each other, but created the Mona Lisa and the David mere blocks from each other at the same time? Trust us, Marchello is a walking encyclopedia and functions like the Florentine library with feet.

PCE Florence in Tuscany

Further, Friday evening’s energy was cosmic as the students dressed-to-impress for Space Electronic disco, which is a prominent discoteca. After a delicioso group dinner at ZaZa’s, we all went to go strut our moves on the giant dance floor. As we walked into the disco, the music surged through our bodies and the beating bass intensified the atmosphere.  Many students displayed some stellar dance moves. It was apparent that everyone was having fun, and there was not a lugubrious student in sight.

After a quiet morning at the Residence, we all boarded the bus to the historic town of Siena for a day of exploration. Once in Siena, the students embarked on a photo scavenger hunt and had to navigate themselves through the city to seven landmarks and plazas. As the students traversed the hilly streets, they were able to see remnants of the Palio di Siena, which is a biyearly horse race between ten of the original city wards. Imani, Emily, and Meagan were the winners of our challenge and all groups came back with hilarious photos!

A little later in the afternoon, Darren, Emily, Ethan, Hannah, Sam, James, and Imani, took on a challenge and climbed the Torre de Magnia in the Piazza del Campo, and witnessed spectacular Tuscan views from the top of the bell tower. Surrounding Siena, rolling hills create picturesque settings and the images that the students captured are impeccable. That evening, all the students found superb restaurants and shared stories of the wonders within Siena.

PCE Florence in Tuscany

The following day was just as exciting, and the students hiked and discovered the marvels of Cinque Terre. A large group of students hiked from Vernazza to Montorosso al Mare, and were lauded for their tenacity. Callie and other students noted that they weren’t quite sure how difficult the hike was going to be to Montorosso al Mare. However, after they completed the undulated and rugged terrain, they were very proud of what they had accomplished because it was such a hard trek.

Like in Siena, many students captured scenic shots that illustrate the beauty of the Italian Riviera and Cinque Terre’s five villages. Throughout the day, many students relished moments of relaxing on the beach, and some even took advantage of a water taxi that transported them to-and-from the five villages.

We are all very excited for the upcoming week! We have new recipes to cook, new photos to shoot, new community service goals, and more to learn about Italian culture.

For now, tutto é bene che riesce bene!

The Westcoast Blogger

If you think this sounds like fun, learn more about joining one of our 21-day or 28-day student trips to gain credit and pre-university enrichment with classes at college in Florence, Italy.