What It’s Like to Fall in Love With Italy

This post is brought to you by your favorite neighborhood blogging mafia C.O.S.I. 

So you want to know what love looks like in Italy? Well, my story might not be the most romantic, but if you’re interested in how a 22 year old California girl who’d never left home before studying abroad and eventually wound up living in Florence and dating a half-English, half-Italian bar manager….well, I already wrote about that here.

The love story I want to talk about today is my long-standing love affair with my city.  Firenze is the place I’ve called home for the past 6 years, and while there have been plenty of ups and downs along the way, there is just something about this goddamn city that I can’t stay away from, no matter how much I hate it sometimes.  Take this morning, for example.  I’ve been packing frantically like a rat high on cocaine for the past two days since I got the unexpected notice that I had to be moved out of my apartment by Feb.20th, not the end of the month like I’d originally planned. I’ve had little sleep and a jam-packed work schedule on top of this, all the while trying to ALSO pack for my vacation back to California on Thursday for one of my best friend’s weddings.

So needless to say, it’s been a stressful time in my household (Zola has taken to hiding in her corner of the couch, blissfully unaffected by the chaos around her) and this morning was no different. After being woken up at 2am to Francesco moving boxes out of the apartment, I had to be up and out the door for work at 7:30am. As I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes during my walk across the Ponte Santa Trinita, I realized that in the morning light I was literally the only person around. Taking cold sips of air in through my nose, I breathed out a sigh of relief and looked around me.

sunrise ponte vecchio
Sunrise warming up the Ponte Vecchio
empty streets by the ponte vecchio
Empty streets for miles…

 

Moments like this are rare with my city, but when it happens it’s enough to stop you dead in your tracks for a brief minute.  Without the noise, the traffic, the bodies and daily chaos of the tourists clogging up the streets, this morning was a stunning reminder of why I fell in love with Italy in the first place. There’s just something there that tugs at just the right place in my heart, kind of like when you eat a lot of really spicy food…oh wait, that’s not right. Well, the obsession with one’s indigestion thing (and also the need to publicly discuss bodily functions) is probably also why I love living here too.

Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is that even though sometimes Florence can be a real bitch, I also am really going to miss her while I’m away for the next two weeks.

NOT! I’ll be sitting by the pool in San Diego with a beer in my hand laughing at all my friends who are freezing their asses off.  Sorry I’m not sorry, guys. I really need this vacation.

A presto!

Xoxo,

Gina

 

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14 thoughts on “What It’s Like to Fall in Love With Italy

  1. The weather notwithstanding, I love Italy in the “off-season.” Yes, it’s those quiet moments alone with your city that really makes you appreciate your surroundings. But a little time apart does a relationship good….have fun in CA!

  2. This was such a lovely post. “there is just something there that tugs at the right place in my heart” I could never have put it better myself! I fell in love with Italy aged 13, and that feeling has never left. Sometimes even just talking about it, or earing someone else speak of it can make me all emotional. I spent six months working there before college, & now,since having family who’ve recently moved there, I’m seriously thinking of moving back too. Some things just feel meant to be 🙂

  3. Enjoy the sunshine on your holiday, the bitch will be waiting when you get back … she’s a bitch but an amazing beauty filled with surprises, you argue with her often but she manages to make you forgive her.

  4. I used to have mornings like this during school. We had a Fresco class on the other side of the Ponte Vecchio. It was a 45 min walk at 7:30 and it was so empty. Except for the creeps working the leather market, that was always an awkward 3 minutes. I can’t wait to be back this year…

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