Study Abroad in Florence with Select Study Abroad

We’re proud to present our brand new (and very first, ever) Select Study Abroad program video! We hope you don’t mind if we debut it right here on the blog. We’re just so overwhelmed with love and appreciation for cameras and film and the internet! Extra special thanks to Heather Longerbeam and her amazing team at Invisible Children for helping put this incredible piece of movie magic together for us. We continue to be floored by their talent and are eternally indebted to them. Balls of mozzarella are on the way!
 
So without further adieu, we present our newest video. An ode to what we do and why we love it and why we think you, yes you, should be spending your summer abroad with us in Italy.
 
With endless gratitude,
 
The Select Team.

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Sandwich Wars: Gustapanino

Battle No.4
The Challenger: Gustapanino
For rules, regulations, and a fascinating review of sandwich history, see here. For our current rankings, see this blog’s side bar.
 
Sandwich Wars continues!
Quick review: Currently in first place with their huge and mouth-watering Finocchiona panino is the Via dei Neri favorite, All’Antico Vinaio. Coming in at a close second, we have the salty and super flavorful porchetta sandwich at the tucked-away-treasure known as Da’Vinattieri. The competition is steep. Can our newest contestant squeeze into these tight numbers?
 
After last month’s killer competition, I just didn’t see how anyone, without some serious effort, was going to be able to push into the top two or three spots on the board. I always have my fingers crossed, so this month I went back to an old favorite, Gustapanino. I remember this sandwich spot as being one of my go-tos about two years ago. I used to look forward to stopping here every Sunday for a salty treat after perusing a flea market or taking a leisurely Sunday stroll in the gorgeous Piazza Santo Spirito. There is almost always a small line, longer around lunchtime, and it remains consistently a mix of American students living in the area and locals looking for a quick meal. The panino shop makes up one part of a three-part establishment, including Gusta Pizza and Gusta Osteria, all three of which are very popular. So I decided it was time to go back with my now more educated sandwich palate. I think sadly, I may be overly educated.
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Photo of the Week: Vatican from Castel Sant’Angelo

Photo of the Week: Vatican from Castel Sant’Angelo

We have been loving all the new Pope business in Rome. I love the little tidbits we catch about Pope Francis I and his choices in these pivotal first days of his Pontificate. For example, his choice to have a more modest fisherman’s ring (plated in gold rather than made 100% of the expensive metal) and cross necklace (his is made of lead). My favorite snippet was that after being elected, Francesco, though he had the right to stay in his new home at the Vatican, declined and chose to return to his hotel room with the other Cardinals. All three choices express his extreme humbleness. I mean, I think it would have been hard for me to give up my first night’s stay in the Vatican apartments. And that got me thinking about other premises over which new Popes once gained ownership upon their election, namely, the Castel Sant’Angelo.
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Photo of the Week: Roman Cauliflower

Photo of the Week: Roman Cauliflower

Also known as Romanesco broccoli, this stunning fractal* vegetable originates from Italy. The first time I saw it at my morning market, I was so blown away that nature could produce such an incredible and edible treat that I had to buy one. I mean…it’s a science project you can eat…or observe, if that’s your thing. With most things in Italy, my first instinct is to eat it. So I did. It was so good! It tasted more like cauliflower than broccoli and that is how I tend to approach it when considering it for a meal. Bonus, it is high in vitamins C & K. Any way you can cook regular cauliflower can be applied to Roman cauliflower, but here is a very simple recipe, should you find this fractal friend in your local grocer.
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Novità: The Bardini Museum

All things new.
They may not be new to Florence, but they’re news to me.
bardini_museumIt can be increasingly difficult to see and do new things in Florence when you’re constantly taking visiting friends and family to the same ten places that they “can’t miss” and, unsurprisingly, feeling less inclined to play the tourist by yourself once they’ve left. There are so many things I still haven’t seen. It’s as if every time I’m motivated, another friend is passing through and I’m visiting the same old haunts again*. In an effort to never say, “I still haven’t seen that” again, I made a list of places in Florence that, pitifully, would all still warrant the above response and I made a promise to start seeing them. That is how I finally made my way to a lesser-known (but wonderfully charming) museum known as the Bardini. I hope with this post I can motivate others – veterans and newbies alike – who, like me, may have not found the time or felt the inclination to add the Museo Bardini to their lists.
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