Some important things to me (Florence, Italy)

  • My top-floor bedroom window with views of the river and the ever-interesting vibrancy of the people walking below. I hear the sounds of vespas and sirens and beeping, but also of singing, laughing, music, and speaking. I hear the occasional trumpet or accordion and clacking of horse hooves. When a sound is particularly intriguing, my head pokes out to watch, and I look down at my neighbor in his apartment below doing the exact same.
  • Gelato. Whether I am feeling down, or up, or in-between. Sometimes on a cold day and always on a hot day. Gelato. 2.50 euro at my local spot.
  • The river Arno. Arno is my compass- how I orient myself. When I get lost, I walk towards it or parallel with it. I cross so many bridges, I stare at the still murkiness, I watch kids play on the banks. It is a way to check in on the city- to see the traffic and the weather and what everyone is up to.
  • Tomatoes, olive oil, onion, garlic, bread, pasta. My repertoire. The fresh produce. A new desire to cook interesting recipes and an appreciation for providing for myself.
  • Pockets of green. Perhaps one of the most fulfilling things of them all, getting to sit on a bed of grass for hours and hours as the haze of the day slips away. The gardens are beautiful and full of the song of the city, flowing in and out of chatter. The views are always spectacular with an opportunity to view the skyline against the mountains clearer than ever.
  • Florence is slow, but also fast. Designer stores and outfits on strangers that leave you in awe. Artsy shops and interesting concepts. Cafes, music, nightlife, creatives. Historic and modern.
  • The history- every street corner has a frescoe, every neighborhood has a basilica, and it’s not uncommon to walk under a medieval gate attached to the tall city walls. It seems impossible to differentiate the thousands of layers of culture that lay on top of one another- they all perfectly blend together to build the rich complexity and complicated allure of this beautiful city.
Gracen B is studying Cultural and Historic Preservation with a minor in History and studying abroad in Florence, Italy with API.
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