I have arrived safely in Florence...my first stop in the trip where I am entirely on my own...no friends to stay with...no mom and sister to share the sights with.
It seems oddly portentious that when I found the street that my pensione is on there were two sets of street numbers, one set in blue, the other in red. One set went up, one set went down; I had to make a choice. Which could possibly be the right one?
I went the wrong way.
I spent the rest of the afternoon running in circles, quite literally. Florence is a maze of curved streets wrapped around each other. I felt I needed to see the important things, the duomo, the David, the Arno, the city bathed in sunset light, don't even get started on the museums. I am only here for a few short hours really. I arrived at 3pm and leave tomorrow morning for Rome. Around in circles I went.
I found the David. He is huge, massive, beautiful. I wanted to touch him all over. Seriously. Perhaps it is being in Italy, being ogled at every turn, watching people neck on every park bench, but I wanted to lay down next to David and, well, you know. Instead I went out into the noisy world again and struggled to find the way into the Duomo.
Then I stopped, abruptly and realized that I was running around acting like I was never coming back to Florence. So, I thought about it and knew that all I really wanted was to see the sun set over Tuscany, to take that first sip of this magical place and trust that I would get to come back later and drink it all in.
So that's what I've done...climbed to the top of the hill and watched the city turn gold and pink. I yearned to be out in the countryside with some huge Italian family drinking wine in a vineyard, or to be snuggled up like all the other sunset watchers with the one I love. But in that too, I tried to remember that I will drink all those kinds of things in, when the time is right. Now is the time for communing one on one...me and Florence, me and Rome, me and Ireland.
Walking home I felt my body give out from all the hiking in the Cinque Terre, from racing through Florence, so I am going back to my little hotel to sleep.
But I needed to say goodnight to someone, so "Buenaserra, my friends."
Tomorrow, Rome, wish me luck!