Several folks have asked, “Just where are you?” Now, as an easily distracted day-dreamer myself, any number of people have asked me that question, often with a very quizzical expression on their face. However, in the context of now living daily in a lifelong dream here in Florence, allow me to orient you to Florence, my dream world.
From this familiar view from Piazzali Michelangelo, you can see we are three blocks north of the Duomo. The Ponte Vecchio is to the left. That’s the National Library at the bottom right. Santa Croce is behind it. When we were first living here, just 4 years after the flood, the library was a major headquarters for painstakingly cleaning and drying each precious page of thousands of volumes of priceless manuscripts from all over Florence
The red arrow to the bottom right is our location. A better view follows. The top center arrow is the building I practiced dentistry in 43 years ago. That’s the Baptistry and Duomo just to the right; the bluish roofed building to the upper right is the Mercado Centrale, with Chiasa San Lorenzo between it and the Duomo. The bottom left is Santa Croce, with its piazza in front where the German Christmas Market remains until December 15th.
That faint red arrow in the center of the picture is pointing to our kitchen window, overlooking the tile roof of a 16th century church that is now the headquarters for the Dante Alighieri Society. Note the little bell tower way at the back. I haven’t figured out how to get there yet, but…
Our living room looks across the narrow street to the side walls of Basilica Santa Annunziata, founded by the Servite Order in 1250. Leading out of its piazza off screen to the top left is Via di Servi, going 3 blocks to the Domo. To the bottom left is the archeology museum, a veritable multi-storied warren’s den of priceless artifacts from local excavations down through the Etruscans and even before.
I share all this to in some small way communicate the nearly overwhelming sense of blessing and gratitude Cynthia and I feel as we experience a rejuvenation of spirit here in the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence, Italy.