A.Lesson.(at)Signoria. – or – A.Lotta.Soggy.

From our room in Florence, one year ago, we saw the looming Duomo catch moonlight on its breast, the Palazzo Vecchio rim and ruffle the sky, and the entire Piazza della Signoria spread its ancient carpet of stones beneath us.  Directly below our window, just at the Loggia with its staggering audience of statuary, is the scene of spilled blood and the awakening of Lucy Honeychurch in Forster’s Room with a View.  I wanted to be awakened, too.

I was sure we had the best view in town – three high arched windows curtained in gold damask – though I didn’t mean to.  I meant to book a room on a quiet square some blocks away – one that came recommended by a friend.  But when we arrived at that inn, the receptionist’s blank face turned us away, her hands whisking us toward the heart of the city.  I had inadvertently reserved an inn by a very similar name.  The room with a view was a happy surprise.

For six out of seven days it rained.  The museums crammed with treasures we consumed, of course, as well as the mellow earthy fare each night.  But the thing I remember most about that week is the view from my window:  that dark field of wet stones, and popping up across it, bright stemmed flowers of every color:  twirling pinwheels of sheer yellow, tangy orange, red, green, lilac.  Yes, umbrellas purchased from the clever hawkers at every corner looked like spring tulips sprouting over the stems of black boots and trench coats.  Locals blossomed in single stems or pairs; but Japanese tourists en mass were whole bouquets of umbrellas moving in a loosely tossed jumble from site to soggy site.

Art is everywhere.  Museums are nice but not necessary.  All one needs is a window as high and wide as possible through which to view the world.  Even on the dreariest days, gray chilled to the ground, puddled in loss, color rises up.  It appears from every corner, serendipitous, silent, free; awakening those who will to see.


~ by Stephanie on 02/25/2010.

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