Florence Study Abroad Tips: How to Live on 35 Euros a Day

By Kevin Vote on June 16, 2015

Most students who study abroad in Italy typically end up in Florence, an amazing city for study abroad students to live in; the city itself is historical, and the local culture reflects the needs of the study abroad population.

There are many restaurants, bars, and other tourist traps in the city center of Florence, but there are also cheaper, more authentic alternatives for study abroad students to find just off the beaten path.

Study abroad students can live off of 35 Euros a day and still eat like kings if they seek these alternatives such as All’ Antico Vinaio, a tiny sandwich shop and wine bar tucked neatly into an alleyway a few minutes walk from the city center.

There is a menu inside, but most patrons simply ask the workers to make whatever they feel like making. This exchange allows students to practice their Italian, as the workers will then ask questions such as “Mangi tutto?” (Do you eat everything?) or “Ti piace qualcosa piccante” (Do you like something spicy?) .

The workers’ sandwich creations introduce study abroad students to the true Tuscan culture, as they show which local ingredients combine to make local favorites that are seen as staples of the Tuscan diet or specialties of the region.

All’ Antico Vinaio is beneficial to study abroad students in Florence for many reasons. Not only does it allow study abroad students to eat a whole meal for 5 Euros (the sandwich almost needs to be held with two hands), but it also gives them the chance to practice Italian and immerse themselves in the culture, which is what most study abroad students are there to do presumably.

Upon entering the small shop, there is a sign that states the workers will not put two meats in one sandwich because it is a sin. With long lines spilling out of the shop, the workers are often short with customers and only speak in Italian, which adds to the nuance and charm of the shop as well.

Many other sandwich shops similar to All’ Antico Vinaio exist in Florence, but none can match its quantity for the price or quality of its ingredients. The bread used for the sandwiches at All’Antico Vinaio is made in a bakery across the alleyway and carried across to the sandwich shop; it’s so fresh that it is often still hot and steaming when being sliced.

The workers at All’ Antico Vinaio specialize in making their own sbriciolona, or Tuscan fennel salami, which is a specialty of the Tuscan region, in which Florence is located. All’ Antico Vinaio and other similar sandwich shops that exist in Florence allow study abroad students to budget properly while still being able to eat like a king if they desire to do so. Just remember, go early to avoid the lines! 

By Kevin Vote

Uloop Writer
I'm a fourth year history major with a minor in literary journalism at the University of California, Irvine. When I'm not doing school work or writing, I enjoy watching sports and playing basketball. I also love to listen to music and read long form journalism as much as I can!

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