The pleasure of returning

One of my fears about returning to a place is that I won’t enjoy it as much as on a previous visit(s). Not an issue where Florence is concerned!

I liked that some of the practicalities were familiar to me this time around – I didn’t have to spend mental energy on them. I knew how to get a bus ticket (and was happy to learn about the 90-minute window per ticket), knew my way around the grocery store (enough to be appalled when I saw someone bagging produce without using a plastic glove), and most of the time, had a mental map of where I was in the city (as long as I could see the dome of the Duomo and the bell tower, I had a good chance of finding my way).

Navigation aids: the dome of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore and Giotto's Campanile.

Navigation aids: the dome of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore and Giotto’s Campanile.

I got a kick out of being able to say, ‘ah, they finished that road work on this corner’ or ‘the scaffolding on that building is new.’

Left: the street under construction. Right: completed!

Left: a street under construction in 2012. Right: completed in 2013.

It was wonderful seeing Rom Draculas again, playing in Piazza della Repubblica – they are the sound of Florence to me – and returning to one of my favorite cafes for cioccolata calda (and finding new cafes at which to try it).  


Clockwise from left: Rom Draculas; cioccolata calda on a return visit to a cafe; cioccolata calda at a new cafe.

Along with enjoying the familiar, I loved seeing places in the city that were new to me, like the Basilica di San Miniato al Monte, Palazzo Vecchio, and the market at Sant’Ambrogio. I tried new foods, including wild boar, and saw the shop where one brings wine bottles to be filled from bulk containers. I was there for the olive harvest and brought back my very own can of new olive oil. I went back to a Christmas craft market that I had attended last year and discovered a ceramic artist whose studio I visited one day. And for the first time in my life, I had a neighborhood bar!


Left: olives. Right: wine shop.

One of the best things about returning to Florence was realizing towards the end of my stay that I like the person I am there. I don’t know how Florence feels about it, but it sure makes me feel good about Florence!

What a pleasure it was to return – I’m glad I did!

2 thoughts on “The pleasure of returning

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