On this day last year, I arrived in Florence for a month-long stay. It was a rocky start to what I have since realized has been one of the most memorable times of my life. I still remember my time there so vividly, and I could talk tirelessly about my experience with every chance I get. So now, one year later, I wanted to remember this time and place that will forever have a special place in my heart.
You were the place where I discovered the meaning of being on my own & where I found a strength I never thought I had. And so, after those first panicked and chaotic moments came peace of mind, and each day a little bit more confidence to step out in to the world.
You've shown me places so ancient, beautiful, and filled with livelihood like I never thought I'd get to see. Your narrow cobblestone streets are so welcoming that nothing could keep me away for too long - not the intense heat, nor the countless blisters, nor even my inability to carry more than a basic conversation in your language.
The food you have to offer will not leave my memory anytime soon. I've learned that a gelato break will sweetly cure my homesick feelings in a heartbeat, and that it's not the number of ingredients going into a dish that counts, but rather their careful combination and preparation. Now I don't even expect a better taste of pasta dishes or tiramisu before I visit again.
Your tiny size gives way to an enormous & unique character that people from all over - including me - have fallen in love with. Your own passionate and friendly people made my time there so much more special and memorable.
You taught me to slow down, bask in the glory of the present moment & delight in every little thing I do. I'm not yet sure if you're the perfect place to live, but you sure cross many things off that list.
Until we meet again, my deepest love and gratitude,