Florence

I don’t know what it is that compels my love of Florence over any other city. I’ve walked its narrow, uneven streets, sat quietly at its cafes, joked with the locals, been overwhelmed by the smoldering heat an drenched by flashes of rain, marveled over its art, and felt small under the greatness of its Duomo…

The Duomo… That cathedral. That behemoth of sacred space and holy ground, rising up from the dirt and peering above all other buildings. Lost in the dazzling and consuming architecture, I forget that centuries ago, homes and businesses were demolished to build this great feat of sacred architecture. It was here, in the Piazza del Duomo, that priests and the faithful would gather to celebrate the saints. Here, rulers of old would parade and execute criminals. Here, was the center of Florentine mercantile activities. Here lay the hope of impressing foreign dignitaries and of displaying Florence to the world. And centuries later, I stand in the center of history and of legacy.