Many MM friends have written to me about living in Florence. Oh, you are so lucky! You live in such a beautiful city! Ah, to be surrounded by so much art! All very true. What my friends don’t know is that I grew up here. My family moved here when I was a child. I think that anybody who lives in a beautiful city takes its beauty for granted. It becomes part of everyday life. And if truth be told, I rarely go into the city anymore (I live on the outskirts). I’m too busy. Especially now that I have a blog. 😉 Even when I am in town on an errand, I don’t bother looking up to admire the Church of Santa Croce or Palazzo Vecchio. I can barely recall the last time I went to a museum in Florence. Don’t get me wrong. I love my city. I grew up here, it’s home. And when friends visit me, I try to see the city and its art through their eyes, learning to appreciate it anew.
It is quite a different matter when my husband and I go to visit another Italian city. Last year we went to Rome and Ferrara. Very different cities. Rome is huge, of course, compared to Florence and Ferrara where you can walk everywhere (almost). We managed to peek into St. Peter’s, but it was so crowded that we didn’t stay long. We didn’t make it to the Vatican Museums: the line was about 5 miles long, and we had not made reservations on Internet. We still had a lovely time. If you go to Rome, don’t miss strolling around Trastevere. That may well have been my favourite part of our visit. Also, from the Palatine Hill you can admire great views of the Roman Forum and the city. Walk to the other side of the hill, and you will see the archaeological remains of dwellings dating to the 10th century.
Chances are you won’t go to Ferrara, off the regular tourist route, but if you do, drop me a note. I have a few pointers. Ferrara is well worth the visit, it’s a little jewel. We walked everywhere. The best part for me was our visit to Casa Romei, a well-preserved Renaissance building with spectacular frescoes. We attended a Mozart concert there, beautiful music in a magnificent setting.
I have a million photos of Rome and Ferrara. Any recent ones of Florence? Not one.