“The energy of Florence is indescribable: overflowing with bustle and charm, teeming with life. Every corner bears new treasures, every cobblestone a gem. The artistry in the sculptures, the landscapes, the architecture is beyond compare. I feel a sense of humility and awe walking along these ancient streets, which have served as witness to countless revolutions, tread upon for so many centuries by artists and martyrs and geniuses alike. The stones are infused with history and culture and knowledge: I feel it. I feel the presence of generations, I feel the weight of giants.” – Emily Kyle
The first time I set foot in Florence, I too felt the weight of giants. As a self-professed history lover, borderline nerd, I love going to cities that have extensive pasts. Whether they be good or bad. I think that history is our best teacher – you can learn so much from the scholars and artists that came centuries before you or I were even a dream in our parents’ minds.
Artwork from the day can show you a vast amount surrounding political attitudes, beauty standards, who was in power and who was seen to be the enemy. Scholars can reteach you the world you see now – the one that is so informed – but in relearning, you see the impact of what it was like to experience each new thing with wonder and joy.
Cobblestones on the streets remind you of people that for hundreds of years have stubbed their toes on the same stone that you’ve just tripped over – how many bars, restaurants, merchant stalls have occupied the streets that you now stroll, step by step.
I would really like to return to Florence someday soon. My grandfather really loved this city. He used to reflect on his time there with a wistful look in his eye – recalling the fun memories with his friends, the photos he took and the nights spent out a little too late. I too, loved this city. It was breathtaking. I felt like I was a part of history here. And I’d love to experience that feeling again.
Have you ever been to Firenze?