As summer ends, the sun loses its strength and the temperatures cool down. The colors are becoming softer as the trees are changing color. Over the past month, I have enjoyed moments that delighted my senses: the sunlight celebrating the return of a favorite monument, the full moon peeking between the Duomo and the Campanile, a snippet of the skyline from across the river, and a sunset above the Arno. These brief moments made me want to connect with Florence more often.
August 22, 2023 — Piazza DemidoffAfter turning onto Lungarno Serristori, the sun was shining in my face. With no cars in sight, I rushed across the road to continue my walk in the shade.
I kept my eyes on the uneven sidewalk as I passed under the leafy acacia trees in Piazza Demidoff. When I reached the center of the garden, I stopped.
The Monument to Nicola Demidoff had been hidden behind wooden walls for years to get repaired. The marble sculpture, now illuminated by the sun, captured my attention and filled me with glee.
Memories of when I used to end my runs here flooded back to me. While they were restoring it, I never stopped to visit the garden. The piazza wasn’t the same without its centerpiece.
Now, I’m looking forward to passing by so I can admire it again and again.
August 30, 2022 — Piazza San GiovanniAt half-past eleven, people were still lingering in the streets enjoying a late summer evening.
Shops were closed, their darkened windows displaying clothes and shoes for the fall, as restaurants and cafés were cleaning up and dismantling their outside areas.
After being away for a few days, I headed straight for Piazza San Giovanni. I kept walking toward the Duomo even though the full moon was hovering to the right of the Battistero. While a few people remained at outside tables, finishing their food and drink, I rounded the baptistery and stopped the moment I spotted the full moon glowing between the Duomo and the Campanile di Giotto.
With my suitcase leaning against my legs, I observed the dimly lit facciata, raised my gaze to the cupola, and then stared at the moon. A captivating sight to come home to.
Ponte San Niccolò — September 6, 2023As the summer holidays come to an end, more locals have returned to Florence. Shops and restaurants have reopened and more cars, motorini, and bicyclists populate the centro storico.
Scorched sycamore leaves tumbled down the sidewalk as I strolled up Lungarno Serristori, which later became Lungarno Cellini. Their rattling sound infused the brief moments of silence with joy. While weaker rays of sunshine warmed up my back, gusts of wind cooled me off. Overhead, a scattering of buoyant clouds in the luminous skies uplifted my spirits.
I skirted around the tree’s leafy branches stretching out to the sidewalk and headed across Ponte San Niccolò. When I spotted the Arno reflecting the sky, trees, lush meadows, and the Campanile di Santa Croce, I leaned against the railing to take it all in.
By disregarding the bridge traffic, I could relish in the view of the Duomo. I admired how Mother Nature embraced the city’s crowning glory for all to enjoy.
Ponte Santa Trinita — September 15, 2023As the afternoon progressed, dark clouds amassed in the sky and teased us with the prospect of rain. While on my way to grab dinner, I took a detour and walked to Via Tornabuoni. A glint of sunlight shining above a palazzo along Lungarno Guicciardini lured me to the bridge.
I stopped at my favorite spot on Ponte Santa Trinita, where many had gathered to enjoy the late summer evening. Some were facing the Ponte Vecchio while others were gazing at the sunset. My eyes shut for a moment as I took in the fresh scent of the Arno..
As the sun slid down the sky, I realized how much I missed basking in the last minutes of the day.
Canottieri cruised up and down the river, as planes took off and landed at the airport just beyond the trees in Le Cascine. Three renaioli traveled down to Ponte alla Carraia to enjoy the sunset before returning to the Ponte Vecchio.
Every breath immersed me in the moment. A few people bumped into me as they passed, but I was unfazed. I couldn’t detach my eyes from the riverscape as the sun painted a strip of the sky tangerine before it departed.
After the sky grew dim, I walked home. I considered staying for the blue hour, but knew I would come back another day to enjoy it then.
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