26 May 2008

Being in Love in Firenze (Florence)

We only visited Florence for eight hours, but I understand why people go there for their honeymoons. Everybody makes out in Florence. Everybody. You can’t turn around without finding a couple kissing. They are often kissing loudly (lots of lip smacking) or intensely (a lot of tongues). Indeed, when we were touring the Bordini gardens, Mia and I came across a park full of people relaxing in the shade. This couple was fully horizontal, in an intense (at least 10 minutes while we rested in the shade) make-out session, oblivious to the world.

It’s a pretty city with a ton of jewelry on the Ponte Vecchio, beautiful views and walks for those who want to amble, and many, many art collections for those who want to be inspired. Waffles coated in nutella (yes, they are as good as they sound) are common food at the gelateria, and we had some lovely gelato at a place called Grom. The Renaissance feels alive here, and the kissing may be related—it’s a place to begin lives and be re-born into a new family.

Here is one of the more fun “ti amo” bits I’ve seen—people write their names and the date on a lock and hang it along the river by the Ponte Vecchio and the Uffizi.

We also saw something very sweet. In the peony garden at the top of the gardens, with the flowers in full bloom and the Tuscan countryside laid at our feet, we overheard a British man on the phone, clearly telling someone that the glowing woman before him had said ‘yes.” It is a romantic place, and the romance of the place seeps into the couples there, I think. Although it seemed inopportune to ask them for a picture, here are some of the peonies, along with me and Mia in the garden there:

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Works Cited

Fiona Wild, ed. Eyewitness Travel Rome (London: Dorling Kindersley Limited, 1993), 2007 edition.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Marble Faun. New York: Penguin Books, 1990/1860.

James, Henry. Daisy Miller. New York: Penguin Books, 2005/1878.

Powers, Alice Leccese. Italy in Mind: An Anthology. Toronto: Vintage Books, 1997.

Steves, Rick. Rick Steves' Italy 2007. New York: Avalon Travel Publishing, 2006.