Buongiornoooooo to the best semester of your college experience. As I'm sure the majority of your family has already said, this is a once in a lifetime experience. Once in a lifetime meaning there will be no other time where you can easily maintain your weight while continuously eating carb-ful meals and tossing back five glasses of red wine three times a day. As annoying as your host family may be about you bringing back a Euro-hottie to your room, you're living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. 

There will be no other moment in your life where you can easily take a 2 hour trip to London, to Prague, or to Amsterdam. There will be no other moment where you can easily call quits on your Italian homework on a Monday night and go out to a club instead. You should be celebrating your time, and spending it well. And what does that mean? 

Indulging in what Italy is known for-- their food

I was only there for a week, but the 5 places I went to, or have heard about, are the places you must go to-- whether you're hungover, drunk, both, or dead sober while your family is visiting. Breathe, unbutton your pants, ask for another glass of red wine, and piss your waiter off by speaking your crappy version of Italian. 

These restaurants range from the most expensive (when your parents hit you with that initial abroad allowance) to the cheapest (for when your parents finally realize their money is going towards 8 euro drinks and VIP tables at Space and Yab).

Either way, you'll be full, satisfied, and 5 pounds heavier. 

1. Ristorante La Giostra 

Three words: Make. A. Reservation. I'm not talking about 24 hours in advance, i'm saying weeks in advance. Also, prepare to spend for small portions. Overall, the delicious food is worth the money and worth the experience. When you leave the La Giostra, you'll feel the authenticity of an Italian restaurant, both in your heart and your stomach.

2. Osteria delle tre panche

What does this translate to? Three benches. Why? Because there are literally three benches in the restaurant-- community style. In other words, reserve, reserve, reserve. ASAP. If you don't have time to reserve, try to stop in for lunch before the busy crowd comes in. Time and time again, Tre Panche has been people's #1 spot in Florence. #Spoontip: come craving truffle. Literally, truffle linguini, truffle risotto, truffle steak, truffle ravioli. It doesn't stop, and you won't want it to.

3. Osteria Il Gatto e la Volpe 

Price = decent. Food = unbeatable, authentic, and 10/10. If you're craving nothing fancy, come for the pure taste of Italian food. Come for pasta, pizza, wine, and amazing Italian hospitality. Finally, it's location is right near the duomo. Whether you're near the city center for your art history class or starving after your workout going up the duomo's stairs, come hungry and leave drunk.

4. All'Antico Vinaio

It's known for the best street food in Italy for a reason. It's also home of a panini that fully took an hour for me to finish. When I first stepped in their place, I was intensely intimidated by the meat that was dangling from their ceiling. If you're a vegetarian, come in with a blindfold. Once I quickly grabbed my panini, we hit the road and walked Florence's streets with the most mouthwatering bread, cheese, and meat combination that one may ever witness. If you have a small stomach, share with a buddy. Otherwise, dig in, hit the road, and head to Palazzo Vecchio while you're at it. It's only a 5 minute walk away.

5. Gusta Pizza

Pizzas in the shape of a heart, aw. Gusta Pizza is the perfect grab-and-go spot for a delicious pizza. If you're exhausted and famished after a 3 hour museum tour, stop by. It's crowded, but worth the wait. I went classic with getting a Margherita pizza and I ate the whole thing, no issue. Inhale, indulge, exhale, and convince yourself you're working off the carbs by walking to your next location.