My masters program in Florence was accelerated. Time was pretty precious. I had to make 5 pairs of shoes with accessories, a book , and a movie about the collection. The final projects and presentation to the public were in September and the month of August Italy shuts down. The whole month businesses and schools close down for vacation. There were no workrooms or classrooms that were available to work in. The only thing to do was explore the country. Something you didn't have much time to do the rest of the school year.
Cinque Terre is a group of 5 small fishing villages on the Italian Riviera that have been there as early as the 11th century. In 1997 It was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 5 villages climbing the steep cliffs colorful charming and well worth a visit. It was a simple train ride from Florence. You can take a boat from the 1st town on the southern end to the last town on the north. It gives you an incredible view from the ocean and shows the dramatic effect of the towns clinging to the steep hills. Once there you can take a local train from town to town. You can also walk along the cliffs between the towns. It can be quite the hike.