Anita’s beautiful blog Castles, Crowns and Cottages is always a pleasure to read, and so I decided to join her Simply Irresistible Link Party that launches today. Those of us participating have agreed to write about our dream European destination.
Won’t you come with me for a little visit to la culla del Rinascimento, the cradle of the the Renaissance, otherwise known as the eternally lovely Florence and the winding roads of Tuscany?
As an homage to the spirit of Anita’s dazzling reveries,
Ever since I was little, I wanted to see Michelangelo’s sculptures.
The angel that he set free from the marble, the Doni Tondo, and so much more….
I visited Florence with my family when I was 19 and went back to study art the next year.
My time in Florence was glorious.
There were magical dinner parties that lasted for hours.
Afternoons filled with shopping and cafes.
Glamorous parties, where I picked my way through champagne bottles strewn under the olive trees at villas up in the hills of Firenze. Florentines know how to enjoy life and then some.
I don’t remember much about art class except that our teacher would wear a pareo and nothing else in the afternoons…But I do remember taking an hour or more every morning to spend alone in the Ufizzi and Palazzo Pitti walking among works by Botticelli, da Vinci, Durer, Michelangelo, Titian, Caravaggio, Rembrandt and so many more. I never started my day until I had spent some time in front of my favorite Raphael painting.
The Madonna della Seggiola is to this day the most beautiful painting that I have ever seen. Missing morning class to spend time in front of it was one of the best educational decisions I ever made.
From the beginning, life in Firenze was a slice of heaven laced with chocolate from Rivoire…you haven’t lived until you’ve sipped this melted chocolate concoction.
It was my first behind-the-scenes glimpse of handmade luxury leather goods;
little did I know it was to become a life long passion…
And then, not surprisingly, one evening, at a party overlooking the Arno, I was struck by the same lightning that Dante wrote about in the Divine Comedy.
For a time I lived with him above the Piazza della Signoria.
I missed one plane ride home. And then another…
We toured the Tuscan countryside, tasting wine and stopping in villas to taste more wine. He knew everyone and everyone knew him. It was like a strange but wonderful dream.
Weeks were ticking by and I was missing the beginning of grad school.
He asked me to stay and I thought about it.
I’m sure I filled pages in my journal.
Penne for your thoughts, ragazza…
I was just 20 and at the time the things I still wanted to do made
the 12 years between us seem like 1200.
Before I left he gave me the pocket watch his mother, a beautiful artist, had worn in her passport photo. And yes, this is the very same watch. I still have it.
To this day Firenze has a dear place in my heart and always will.
Just thinking about it has made me want to return.
Have you ever visited a place that was simply irresistible?