The last Ciao
To say your last ‘ciao’ to a beloved city, a city that shelters you without judging where you are coming from or what you are, just accepts you in its arms as a citizen, and when your last moment comes in it … Separation is very difficult and emotional whether you’ve been there for a few days, months or years. In this inevitable moment all the memories and emotions collide in your mind, forming that nasty lump in your throat and make you feel so small. And then comes the order of nostalgia for the past moments that you pursue until you learn to tame those memories.
This is my story about my last ‘ciao’ with Florence. It gave me more than I expected or wanted. I couldn’t even imagine how this would have impacted me after the five months I spent here. And how this whole experience will end just like a moment in which you finally realize how much you have changed.
In the previous parts of Florence 1, 2 and 3 I paid attention to the most important sights of the city. Today, in the form of a pleasant afternoon walk through the Tuscan capital, I will tell how my everyday life was running on most Fridays.
It’s the middle of February, and the weather slowly begins to return to the typical Tuscany splendor. At that time, the sun slips lightly with the first warm rays of the year, but at the same time it is accompanied by the strong cold February wind that reminds you summer is still far away.
I am in the university for the last time, I take the papers for a successfully finished semester and I kindly say good-bye to the staff. With a smile on my face, I am going to the bus stop to wait for the bus which gets me to the center. At that moment I realize that this is going to be my last walk in the city. I go down to the central station and head off on my usual route down the main street leading to Florence’s Duomo. To enjoy this greatness of architecture, to admire it once again and to smile, recalling my first reaction when I saw it for the first time.
I continue to Palazzo Vecchio and the Uffizi Gallery, walking around, watching the eternal flow of people in the center and looking at them carefully. How they laugh and walk, enjoy their time and buy fine items to have a memory of the city, but they forget to stop for a second and look around, feel and understand the real Florence.
I go to one of the sides of the gallery where various statues of mythical heroes are placed, always sitting there and welcoming each new tourist. I sit and watch them curiously. I see how the guards are stopping once again a number of enthusiasts to climb the statues and take their notorious selfie. I make another inappropriate joke about the nakedness of the statues to myself and continue with the walk.
I continue on the world-famous Old Bridge and sit under the arch in order to listen to the street musicians that are always there and play. I’m enjoying the melody and at the same time I think, “Do you imagine … here before there were arranged butchers with blood around, then slowly this became the financial point of the city. Aaaamzing, what radical change or perhaps the most impressive thing is that here, where I sit at the moment, was standing Hitler himself?! Wow, how many people are thinking about this? And today is the street with the most jewellery shops in the city … I do not want to even think about renting a shop here, but if they do, obviously they are earning enough here“.
I pass on the other side of the bridge and continue along the Arno River to my favorite gelateria. I want, for the last and most deserved occasion, to have a nice and authentic ice cream from Italy. As always, I take my favorite taste – yoghurt with a Nutella – and walk ahead as happy as a little child. Well, naturally, I take a picture of my sweet trophy and send it to my friends to sniff them a little that I can afford to eat ice cream in February and I’m not cold, haha.
I continue upstream of the Arno River to get to my favorite spot in the city – Michelangelo Square. I want to see for the last time the magic of the Renaissance, I just want to sit down in the silence and enjoy the colors that draw in the sky above Florence. At this point my eyes start to tear up a little bit as if I feel a difficulty or just want to see something simple and beautiful in the future I will not be able to because that place will no longer be near me. I stand as long as possible but it’s time to head to the restaurant where I have a booked table.
I found this Simbiosi restaurant by chance at the beginning and from that moment I visited it every Friday. Every time I ate pizza there because I pretend to understand somewhat of Italian cuisine and I can guarantee that this was one of the best pizzas I have ever eaten both in Florence and Italy. Finding such a delicious place where the price-quality ratio is very high and good level is rare.
After the wonderful dinner, it was time for the last stage of the walk – walking back to my place, looking at the beautiful lights and unique lamps on the streets of night Florence.
The next day I drove to the airport in Rome to get back to my real home – Sofia. With the idea of going back to Florence someday, because I left a part of myself waiting to come back and get together again!
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Thank you warmly for everything, my beloved Florence!