April 17, 2010
I am sitting in a wifi cafe in Florence. These are not nearly as common in Italy as in America.
I am freezing.
I had forgotten how cold cities constructed of ancient stone can be. They retain the cold, reflect the cold. I am wearing layers and still chilled to the core.
I’m supposed to rave about the sites of Europe, right? But the fact is traveling is full of minor inconveniences that often become so big they don’t seem minor—like I’m so cold I can’t get warm even under four blankets and a quilt at the hotel, i.e. a convent turned hotel. That translates into centuries of old stone, cold old stone.
A high point though is the garden, a square of pristine quietude in the heart of the city, wisteria vines tangled above walks, trunks the size of trees, blooms hanging low perfuming the gentle green of an early Florentine spring . . .