I need to go to Italy again. Especially Florence.

I went for the first time ever last March, and now that seems like eons ago. Looking at another blogger’s travel writings has made me even more aware of how much I miss Italy. Over the last few weeks, I have been thinking about my trip a lot, and wishing desperately that I could return on a whim.

Someday. I will return, that is not the question. It is just a matter of when. A matter of when? sounds like a matter of whim to me…

Florence(Firenze) is full of whim and whimsy. It was the birthplace of the Renaissance, but it has not yet lost its quaintness. The romantic Ponte Vecchio bridge, the ephreal  Birth of Venus, the elaborate marbled Duomo, the crowded markets. Bread that is at once chewy and soft; puddle-studded cobblestones, enormous fortresses.

In Firenze, there exist remarkable contrasts that are somehow unified. There is the “street life,” and by that, I mean the aspects of the city as seen from the streets: narrow cobblestone roads often littered with waste, muddied water, and trash; the rush of human traffic smashed between crazy cyclists, motorists, or buses; street stands loudly selling scarves, leather trinkets, or food; little shops; hidden avenues; cafes. Then there is the “site life,” the interior feel of tourist sites: the reverberating silence of the tombs of Santa Croce Bascilica, the silently screaming ceiling paintings of San Lorenzo, the wordless communication of the Uffizi Gallery’s many exquisite paintings; the marbled dignity of the Duomo, the gilded grandness of the Palazzo Vecchio, the stilled statues of the Galleria dell’Accademia.

One fun thing about Florence, and many other places in Europe, is that you get everywhere by walking. This seems to make life more rushed (you’re always running late due to the amount of time it takes to walk) yet you’re also able to slow down and take in all the sights. (More contradictions, I guess. )

If you are interested in visiting Firenze, I would recommend reading travel info sites, like Frommer’s and other travellers’ writings of their adventures. Some possibilities include: http://joeitaly.wordpress.com/2009/01/27/planning-a-trip-to-florence-italy and http://mytuscany.wordpress.com.

The following pictures are from my trip. They are of  two interior views of Santa Croce, a view from the street leading to Santa Croce (the brick building in the distance is actually the back of Santa Croce), a designer shop (one of many!), the Duomo and bell tower, and the Ponte Vecchio bridge.

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Someday, I will return. And it had better be soon!

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