zaterdag 11 augustus 2012


Firenze is the past! And I have still not posted an entry here.  Why?  Well, because it was a very intense and emotional holiday for me. It was not just a city trip and the people who do know me quite well  know that it had been something I had been longing for quite some time.  Ever since my art history studies at the univeristy I longed to see  'live' all canvas, marble, architecture, stones, sights....  All the classes that I had about the content  of that Italian city made me even dream about it.  The moment that you take an exam about something it becomes part of you.  So that I never made it sooner to Firenze is due to many facts.

I had my own personal reasons because I would have loved to have gone with P&A but these two men can't handle the heat and also the amount of art.  I was then also very happy that my mother was prepared to join me for this very exceptional voyage.  And so it is in the summer of 2012 that I finaly made it to that one city that I longed for.

Next I could compose a very long entry about what I went through while I wandered through the streets of this very historical place... but I have changed my mind?  Why?  Well, because I wouldn't be good enough.  There are not enough words to express what I felt while spending 6 days in that city. Because let us face it, you were not there with me when:

- I dragged me, myself and my suitcase to our hotel that we could not find and that my mum and I are were about to collapse from the heat after having been used to wet &cold weather.
- I thanked the Lord almost on my knees for a bottle of sparkling water that we found in our lovely hotelroom when we arrived.
- I sat on the green (yes mum, your grass looks so much better then most of the heat struck grass we saw) grass of the Boboli gardens while writing postcards for friends and family.  Did we LOL out when she read the sign 'Keep of the grass' after whe had been on it for over an hour. Priceless moment!
- I picked out my newest wardrobe to wear for my new job while my mum was my personal shopper.  Pretty sure that we also checked out most of the handbag stores in town in order to find my newest assets.
- I took tons of pictures of many things that I wanted to frame and look at when I would be back in rainy Belgium. My camera sometimes used its close-up function also for the rather good looking Italian guys that were running around in town. My mum told me that if my sis would have come along that she would have had a fulltime job bodyguarding the two of us. LOL
- I tried to make up my mind in front of the delicous looking 'gelato' flavours and then seeing how my mum was enjoying here cup of dream flavours.
- I stood eye in eye with that one gigantic statue of David that where you have been reading so much about but still are not prepared for when you then meet up with. The impact of it is beyond any words.
- I lit candles in the numerous churches that we walked in to find a cool oasis and some silence.  In those places I found so much more then peace of mind and was I able to contemplate about my life.  Yes, many of you my beloved friends out there have been with me while I was in there.
- I picked out delicous sounding and even better tasting dishes! I can tell you that we ended up in some lovely restaurants.  Antipasti, primi, secundo, dolce, vini, ristretto...I had them all and enoyed every bite and sip of them.
- I read so many facts, stories and anecdotes about a city that I do now even love more.  Best guide book I bought was:'Florence, just add water.'  For sure a reference book you need to get if you ever travel with children to this city.  For me it was the best guidebook ever because in there was the only city map that did make sense to me. ;-)
- I tried to speak Italian but am very sure that I did sound so foreign that you would have LOL if you were a local.  The thing is that I love the Italian language so much that it even sounds like music in my ears.  And the typical gestures many guys make along with it are even more priceless!
- I tried to find the way but loved to get lost and bumped into unexpected situations like meeting up with artist Luca in no time found his way to my heart&of my mum or when resting on bench suddenly had lovely conversation swith some colleague tourists.  And yes there were moments that I did try to hide that I was Belgian because sometimes we are not well behaving when it comes down to travel etiquette. Just keep in mind:'When in Rome do as the Romans' also counts for Firenze my dear Belgians.
- I noted down words in order to hold on to images of things, places, people, artwork, food,etc...  My Moleskine is a bit more filled up with Italian inspired words and I hope to cherish them for a very long time.
- I bought liters of water and drank it in a personal record.  The tittle of that guidebook I mentioned here before is so fitting because you just can't survive without water inside the walls of this city.  Yes, it was very pleasant to find sometimes water in unexpected places and fill up your empty waterbottle.  Chances are that I did spend more on water then on gelato!
-  I was wearing my summer wardrobe and felt great! Never before did I wear that many dresses or short skirts.  But because of the high temperatures Stallie had just no excuse.  The pictures tell enough about the outcome of this.
- I talked with my mother about many things that we the last years perhaps not had find the right time and place for.  Yes, thanks to Firenze I do know & understand myself a bit better and where I come from.  You do travel to learn!
- I looked over skyline of this magical Italian hot spot and just dreamed away and tried to picture what Firenze must have been like to live in at the time of the notorious and powerful Medici family.
- I picked out the smell I wanted Firenze to leave behind on my skin once I would open a bottle at home. The many perfumes that hit my nostrils triggered such intense emotions.  The ones that now fill up my bathroom can do the trick.
- I got sincere smiles of many locals.  Yes, some of them were men who did just did seem to have walked out of on Armani commercial! Yes, some of them did own six packs!  The ones that I did spot in their great suits and wearing, lovely typical brown leather shoes, holding on to a tiny bouquet of white roses and dark sunglasses on their nose made almost faint.  Even my mum made then the comment:'Wow, they look so chique and sophisticated!' This qualifies then also for the ultimate Italian macho moment that I did share with my mum and enjoyed tremendously.
- I filmed my mother while she made some comments about the trip.  Still I love travelling around on this globe with her.  She is for the moment not having a very easy time but I am so grateful that before things were going to be a bit rougher on her that we did share this intense time.  Yes, she was the one wearing very stylish clothes and never leaving without a hat or wearing lipstick!
- I picked out that red bracelet made out of  sunflowers shaped pieces of fabric that many Italian women wear around their wrists. My mum declared me a bit insane that I wanted to spend money on something like that.  The thing was that I realy wanted something like that to take home and wear around my wrist to remind of that special place.  Because yes mum, I know that I will never be able to look like one of these very well groomed Italian women who always look like they are ready participate in a fashion show.  But then this was also not what I was after with this buy.
- I witnessed how a total stranger suddenly went down on his knees in front of his girlfriend and proposed to her while an orchestra was playing in front of Palazzo Vechio in twilight while there was quite a crowth.  Their faces were incredible and made fall alseep with a gigantic smile on my face.
- I wrapped those great white sheets around my cool skin that smelled lovely after that great late night shower and that tube of special shower gel I found in there. The goosebumps that were all over my body were not there because of the air conditioning.
- I opened in the mornings the window of my hotel room and did look at the dome! That view and the sounds my ears, the smells my nose, the images my eyes picked up made my heart jump for joy.  I can not describe what I felt then. It makes me cry for the moment because I dare to call it happiness and wish that I could have bottled it up for days that I will have a harder time. 
- I just let go and wandered off to places in my mind where I have not dare to go for quite some time.

Because yes, I had kind of promised myself that Italy was only going to be granted the Stallie she is on special days.  No, you were not there with me! I was there all by myself. But to be honest that was exactly what I was after! The memories that I created on this trip are mine to hold on for the rest of my life.  In case I did send you post card you might have noticed that I did not write down many words.
But you can be sure that I wrote it while my heart was singing for joy and that I did wish that many of you were sitting out there with me in total silence and that world did pass by.  Even the ones that I can not write a post card anymore or I do not have the address of because of some obvious or less obvious reasons I did write you one and mailed it.  Believe me you were there with me for some very meaningful moments on this trip but I can only guess if you would have seen, smelled, tasted, felt and picked up the same things as I did. 
I do know now what Firenze looks, sounds, smells, tastes but foremost feels like and I know now for 200% sure my love for Italy turns out to be unconditional and it is stronger then ever!  Because yes, when I crossed Ponte Vecchio I crossed something very special in my mind and in my heart! I wish you had been there with me and that we were been able to hold out for our hands.  In my mind you did and that is perhaps what counts! 

Il Ponte Vecchio Di Firenze

Gaddi mi fece; il Ponte Vecchio sono;
Cinquecent' anni giá sull' Arno pianto
Il piede, come il suo Michele Santo
Piantó sul draco. Mentre ch' io ragiono
Lo vedo torcere con flebil suono
Le rilucenti scaglie. Ha questi affranto
Due volte i miei maggior. Me solo intanto
Neppure muove, ed io non l' abbandono.
Io mi rammento quando fur cacciati
I Medici; pur quando Ghibellino
E Guelfo fecer pace mi rammento.
Fiorenza i suoi giojelli m' ha prestati;
E quando penso ch' Agnolo il divino
Su me posava, insuperbir mi sento.  

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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