View from the walls of Monteriggioni
I’ve returned back home. My adventures over the past few weeks to California to visit my folks and some old friends, to Italy to see my sister…it’s tightened a belt on the distance between myself and the rest of the world. Made it more accessible, smaller, more manageable.
I’m exhausted and finally came down with the cold I’ve been fighting, but that’s okay. It’s a small price to pay for the amount of rejuvenation I was given. Friends who reinforced my me-ness. Family who reinforced my wholeness. A culture that reinforced my love for learning and language and art. Views that reinforced the beauty of this world we live. I’ll pay one stupid cold any day for such great returns.
I’m sure I’ll have more in-depth thoughts later on my travels, but for now, let’s be honest about what we all want: to see some pretty pictures.
Okay my friends, here you go.
View of Florence
Santa Maria del Fiore
Gelateria La Carraia
Pink Vespa on the streets of Florence
Scratchers Italian style
Florence Street art by Clet
Cemetery of Porte Sante
Original walls of Florence
Base of lamp post along the Arno River
Small Italian market
Detail in Santa Maria Novella
Detail on the streets of Florence
Parking near Santa Croce
Renaissance. The rebirth and revival of classical art and literature and architecture. I walked past a woman who was holding a small book eye level and I didn’t think much of it, until I glanced over her shoulder. I was stuck by the sketch she was doing of the Piazza Repubblica. Just pencil on a small little sketch book. She had done the arch way that framed a statue that stands in the middle of the piazza. I tripped over my feet and stopped. I wanted more than anything to turn and go back and strike up a conversation and watch her create, but this moment she was caught up in was her moment of inspiration.
I hitched a ride with my sister to her work. It was nice to have this insight to my sister’s life. I know where she works, who she works for, but it was wonderful to put an actual building and faces together with the stories.
I got to visit with a few of her colleagues and stood around the Italian version of the water cooler (which is, you guessed it, a new age espresso vending machine. Just to note, the coffee wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great.) What made the moment special was being able to communicate with her co-workers.
It was a quick train ride from her office to Santa Maria Novella, the main train station in Florence. This ride is quick, five minutes. There is no need to find a seat, I just stand with the other passengers who’ve made this trip so many times they stare down at their phones, bored. The train yard looks tired. Cables sag unceremoniously above our heads. Every wall, building, and abandoned train is tattooed from about chest level to the floor with graffiti: tag signs, art, world views, cries for help…they all mingle in a flood of screaming color. Continue reading