I mentioned on my “About” page that one of the many things I love in this world is the beautiful country, Italy. First visited when I was seventeen, I have been obsessed ever since, desperately trying to get my head around the language and frantically looking up the most luxurious Hotels in the country with the hope that one day I could live and work there.
On my very first visit to Italy, which was actually a school trip or “educational visit” as my school liked to call it, I became intrigued by the classic and elegant style of the buildings along with the astonishing amount of culture the country has to offer. On this particular trip, I visited Florence. Firenze, an artists paradise, gallery after gallery, museum after museum yet a place that would charm any wandering onlooker.
I found this graffiti on the inside wall of Brunelleschi’s Dome. Rarely do you come across graffiti in Florence, but when you do it is more an expression of emotion and creativity. I liked how I could relate to this artwork as, obviously, like me somebody somewhere in the world found this city to be beautiful and endeavored to one day share their experience with somebody else. I hope the person that wrote this has since found someone they can take back to Italy and show their heart felt words to.
Another example of the creativity surrounding Florence is this “money wall”. A wall decorated with $1 notes..not sure on the reasoning behind this but it sure did get my friends and I wondering and then conjuring…but whoever put them there was careful to put them very high up and out of reach from young British tourists..
Another surreal experience for me when in Florence was the amount of men and women wandering around the city drowning their necks with multi-coloured strings, with hope to persuade unsuspecting tourists to have a customized string bracelet made for them. Of course, I was one of those tourists. Always the naive yet polite damsel I am, three Euros seemed to talk its way out of my purse in seconds.
Florence and Italy as a country is complete with every stereotype that we give it. Vespa’s buzzing around the small cobbled streets, ice cream shops on every street corner, pizza restaurants with excitable waiting staff that really do shreik “Mamma Mia!” It’s not just a holiday when you visit Italy, its an experience- cliche I know, but so true!
So that was my very first Italy experience and where my love affair began, Florence. I will be posting many more stories in the future about where else I have visited in Italy and more excitingly, where I wish to visit but this is where it all began for me.