AFTER 18 hours in the sky, two transfers, and surviving off of just sparkling water and nuts I was in Florence, Italy. If the city was an album, the soundtrack would be fast talking and rolling r’s with some accordion playing off in the distance. If the city was a painting, the palette would be nothing but golds, rusty reds, and olive greens.
Having never been in Italy before, I combated my jet lag with several 1€ espressos, and began my adventure.
Our pension was in the perfect little location, cute floral bedspread and yellow walls overlooking a church and cobblestone. Just two blocks away was the Duomo. I am sure you have seen photos of it, and I posted a few on here as well, but they do not compare. The dome is huge, but perfectly detailed. It is done in marble of salmon pinks, forest greens, and creams, frosted with stone carvings and elaborate archways. After marveling at the outside of the dome, we ventured inside and I pressed my ear to the audio tour guide who told me about the clock and origins of the paintings inside.
I lost track of how many churches we went into. Some well known, so well known we had to pay 12€ to enter, and some decrepit and tiny, with nobody else inside. They were all hundreds of years old. Each one had been slaved over for decades perfecting the details and making it a masterpiece. It made me appreciate the effort people put into the things that they loved, often never getting to see the final result in their lifetime. Sometimes a father would start building/carving/painting/sculpting but it would be finished by his son. What they wanted to achieve wasn’t rushed in the same way I see people living their lives today, always expecting immediate results.
That is what I liked most about Florence, this concept of time really stood out to me. I feel like in the US, we don’t have that long of a history, and we are always moving towards bigger and better things. Progress and the future seem the most important to us at all times. In Florence, churches from 1000 AD still exist on the streets, carefully kept for. People treasure their past, preserve it, and admire it. They bask in the present, sitting endlessly at coffee shops or wandering the streets with no particular destination. We should all integrate a little bit of that into our lifestyle.