Please brace yourself for the following sentence. Studying abroad in Florence is hard. Now before you write me off for complaining about how my diamond shoes are too tight, consider the following: before I landed in Florence I had never been so preoccupied with the search for an abstract concept, and yet, here I pass almost every day struggling to find the ‘real' Firenze. That is, the Florence that is buried under the grand churches, ‘authentic' trattorias, American bars, and echoing museums filled with Renaissance masterworks. That is not to say that these places aren't real, but rather, in a city founded upon centuries of momentous history, I am looking for the still-beating heart of the city, the one that wasn't buried with Brunelleschi underneath the Duomo.