February is the month of love. That painfully beautiful love that only Hollywood’s breakout stars get to experience in their blockbuster movies. But if you are single and not yet ready to mingle, do not be too hard on yourself—try to see Valentine’s Day from a new perspective. Here is a list to discover Florence anew while loving yourself, because being single is not that bad when you have an entire city to prowl.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Palazzo Vecchio, the Duomo, the Accademia and Palazzo Pitti are beautiful, historical, cultural and every other adjective you could possibly come up with. You probably visited them during your first few weeks in town or when your study-abroad program organized guided tours and workshops for you. Now take a Saturday off to visit a second-tier museum or two, like the Bargello. A little gem hidden in plain sight in the heart of Florence, the former prison contains masterpieces by Brunelleschi, Michelangelo, Cellini and even includes a David by Donatello. The brassed-off bronze is basically the underappreciated cousin of the infinitely more famous statue by Michelangelo, rather like North West and Penelope Disick.
Dancing On Your Own
The bar scene in Florence is just like any university town: fun, crowded and rowdy, but this does not mean you can’t find the perfect place for you. Avoid Santa Croce’s tourist-packed hell and head to Santo Spirito, where you will find a more local vibe and plenty of bars and restaurants. Pop Café is a favorite among locals for its drinks and delicious panini, while at Volume take a seat at one of the outside tables and sip red wine while chatting with your new Italian friends. Fancy an adventure? Go hunting for the sign “Rasputin” on an old wooden door in the Santo Spirito quartiere —knock twice to enter the secret bar!
Eat, Pray and Eat… Again
Dump your detox diet for a day and indulge in a full Tuscan meal. If you are on a budget or just don’t want to spend a lot, Trattoria da Giorgio (via Palazzuolo 100R) is a safe bet. A family-run restaurant, it offers super lunch menus, from an abundant piatto di pasta to the succulent, must-try-at-least-once alla Fiorentina steak. Wine is included, obviously. If you are busy visiting museums and only have time for a snack, try i’tosto (via dei Servi 8R), two steps from the Duomo. Ravenous after tackling the climb up to the Piazzale? Fill up on coccoli with prosciutto and stracchino at La Beppa Fioraia (via dell’Erta Canina 6R).
Under the Florentine Sun
After all this cultural exploration, drinking and eating, you may need to find some time to work out. Go running in the Cascine park or along the lungarni, but the best paths are just outside the city in the Florentine hills, where urban chaos makes way for fresh air and greenery. Take your time, don your headphones and don’t ever forget the motto of this new period: Love Yourself. P.S. Don’t forget to delete your Tinder app, darling!