Grabbing an iced coffee at any time of day is one easy way to stand out as an American abroad, but for those who are worried about the lack of Dunkin’ Donuts while in Europe, this post is for you.
Specifically to Florence, there are a few coffee shops that offer an iced cafe latte on their menu.
My favorite place for an iced coffee is Shake Cafe. This chain restaurant has several locations around the city. One of them is located on Via dei Neri, which is just a few-minute walk from one of the Florence University of the Arts campus buildings, on Corso dei Tintori.
The iced coffees here are the best you’ll find for your money, and the most similar to an American iced coffee. A regular-sized coffee is about the same size as a medium at Dunkin’ or a little bigger than a grande at Starbucks, and is 3 Euros. If you tell the cashier you’re studying here in Florence, they offer a student discount. A large comes in an even taller cup, at 4 Euros, or 3,70 Euros with the student discount. These can be flavored with caramel or cinnamon. Shake Cafe’s caramel iced coffee is my go-to when I’m craving caffeine.
Just down the road from Shake Cafe on Via dei Neri, there is another small coffee shop that makes iced cold brews. Ditta Artigianale has smaller cups of coffee, but they’re known for their rich coffee flavor. This place is a little more expensive and not as generous in size, but it’s 100% worth a try. Their hot coffee is much more popular, brewed the Italian way. If you’re looking to branch out from iced drinks, try their espresso shots or cappuccinos. They have a pretty Americanized brunch menu, and it’s in a nice location to grab brunch on the go by the river. Definitely try their avocado and egg bagel sandwich.
La Milkeria has lots of coffee options, including an iced cafe latte, or the “American coffee,” as they call it. These are only 2,50 Euros for a regular size. While you’re here, check out their pancakes, waffles and crepes. They have a long list of toppings for all the brunch items. Be sure to try a pancake or waffle with a scoop of gelato on top. The Milkeria is also one of the only places I have found a bagel in Florence. It’s a great place for brunch and an iced coffee, and close to the Duomo and the FUA main building.
Fedora pastry shop, or the FUA school cafe, is one of the best placed for iced coffees. Why? If you’re a student at FUA, you can use your units here, which is a part of your meal plan. An iced coffee isn’t even worth an entire uni, meaning you can also grab a crossaint and a bottled water to complete one unit.
The bakery items vary day to day, but they always have some varied croissants and sometimes muffins and cake slices. Pre-made sandwiches can also complete the unit with one coffee.
Hot Coffee or Iced?
While there are certainly some options to stick to your favorite iced coffee while in Florence, try to take advantage of the European cuisines and cultures. A purpose of studying abroad is embracing new cultures, right? I wasn’t a huge fan of coffee back in the states. I would get an iced coffee every once in a while, or even one of those Starbucks frappuccinos that’s absolutely loaded in sugar. Once I started trying warm cappuccinos before class, I realized I actually liked what I was avoiding back in the states.
I urge anyone studying abroad in Europe to try just a regular espresso. Get out of that iced coffee comfort zone. I have definitely come to appreciate cappuccinos and espresso shots more since I’ve been here, even though I do love the occasional caramel iced coffee.
If you’re really trying to fit in, don’t order a cappuccino after 10 or 11am. You’ll get a few stares. (Fedora workers will tell you you’re crazy for getting coffee so “late” in the day).