The Venice Diaries – The return home – Part 1

Street in Florence Colour version

Early morning in Florence and not a soul in sight. I’d already been up to see the bronze version of Michelangelo’s David with its aged green patina on top of the hill overlooking the city. A slight chill in the air with a promise of intense July heat. Just the way I like it. I took this photo with a promise I had made to myself to follow the street back up to the Ponte Vecchio where I had fallen in love with a ring in one of the many jewellery shops housed on the ancient bridge on my way to visit the Green David.

Il Ponte Vecchio, FlorenceI had stopped in front of the display window long enough to admire the ornate and delicate filigree beauty of the ring, but on seeing the price-tag I had reluctantly carried on walking. Except it was all I could think about for the next hour or so as I traipsed along the river and climbed the steep path up to the viewing point where my brother and my new map had told me Green David stood. He had visited Florence just a couple of weeks before.

However, I knew from experience that such impulses were designed to be followed, and had I not embraced that philosophy I would not have been in Florence at all. As reason fought with intuition I reminded myself that understanding why wasn’t necessary at that point. At some point it would make sense. Just as it had been with my desire to visit Florence, for the split second impulse that it had taken me to click on ‘book flight’ only weeks before, my visit had actually taken more than a generation to come to fruition. A love that had grown from a tiny seed sown in my early teens when I first began to learn Italian in earnest. Some might say that through blind faith I had stuck true to my dream, and was now seeing it truly unfold.

Besides it would be an early birthday present to myself, yes that worked. It would also come to serve as a reminder that I was about to journey home once again, but for me at that moment in time I was venturing into new territory unaware of the unfolding story that the ring would symbolise.

I returned to the shop, one of the few that had opened it’s heavily varnished aged wooden shuttersIl Ponte Vecchio, Florence, View from the Green David when I had first passed by, just as the sun was beginning to make its presence felt at the start of this new day. Now all the shops were glistening with gold and sparkling jewels as their display windows flaunted their wealth enticing the many magpies now crowding one of the most famous icons of this most noble and important of European cities, as it had been for many centuries already. I took a deep breath, entered the shop, tried the ring on, paid and walked back out. There, I did it! Proud of my purchase and of having followed my impulse, beaming from ear to ear I continued to explore the streets, the grand houses and galleries of Florence, knowing that the following day I would be leaving to travel on to Venice, my true destination and the realisation of my dream, or perhaps the beginning of a new chapter as I would discover.

As I look at the photo of the disappearing street in Florence I realise that at the end of every street there is always more to explore and new impulses to follow full of promise and adventure. But unless you stop to take a snap and dream for a moment that opportunity may pass you by, none the wiser and perhaps less rich for not heeding the call to experience something new, or at least long forgotten, and wonderful.

It wouldn’t be the first time that I would be exploring what should have been familiar territory, but for the sake of a new body and new eyes it seemed like something new, drawn to experience it by inexplicable impulses, like a tangle of wires that would with gentle teasing begin to unravel with time, to switch on a new light with each unthreading, and with that ignite memories new and old full of colour and enchantment.Il Ponte Vechio, Firenze, Italia


18 thoughts on “The Venice Diaries – The return home – Part 1

    1. Ernest is my very sincere and slightly serious but invisible travel companion. Swedish by birth, but brought up in Grimsby. You’d like him, he likes watching Liverpool play with pint in hand too.

      1. 🙂

        I’d like to say I’m well, but I’m still not. It’ll pass eventually, it usually does.
        How are you? I haven’t visited for a while. We were all very impressed with your Emm’s Tardis cake, what a corker!

      2. Yeah, All things pass eventually.
        No point stressing too much right?
        I am v pretty good thanks, M.
        Feeling better every day without the smokes, but I have to set about running a bit more – one tends to substitute the cigarettes with food and in an environment where cakes are being shunted past all the time …..well, you get the idea I’m sure? 😉

        I am concerned that one day I will have to lean quite a way forward to see my feet!

      3. And there was me thinking you were running regularly again… now where did I get that idea from?
        How could you resist such lovely cakes? But I know what you mean, easy to put weight on rather than lose it, takes a lot more effort than lifting arm and shoving in head!

        I’m trying not to be stressed by certain people, but it’s a little tricky sometimes. You know how it is, some people just get under your skin, just makes my existing symptoms feel a little worse. But there you are, as said, all things pass.

      4. Oh I do run regularly. At least three to four times a week, but I laid off for quite a while and only ran now and then. It takes time to get back up to speed and fitness.
        And I am 92 and three quarters so I’m not as sprightly as I used to be.

        Yeah, the stress thing. Drives me nutz. Worse, I get stressed that I allow myself to get stressed and this stresses me more.
        I must stop stressing about it. 😉
        Let me eat another cake….

      5. You are looking very good for 92 and three quarters! Must be all that cake…
        I know what you mean about all of it in fact…
        If I don’t do my long walks for a while it takes me a bit to get back up to speed again, the consequences are that my health always suffers a bit for having the break. Rock and a hard place. And then the stress caused by difficult types, but they are not always avoidable, until they get bored that is and decide to join the real world again.

  1. Florence has been on top of my bucket list for a couple of years now … I so enjoyed this post – love the photos and your story telling. Now I just have to be able to cross it of my list.
    Love the way you tell your stories. My favorite photo is the street photo.

    1. Thank you Viveka! It’s taken me a while to get around to telling my Venice stories, even though it begins with Florence, but it was necessary to set the scene [smile]. Also it’s nice to give both photos and stories a context.

      1. I’m the same … I want to bring my readers along the day or the journey too.
        It can make my post a bit too long, but I don’t know how to tell my stories otherwise. Some has said that a post shouldn’t be over 500 words, that is mostly impossible for me – but I talk a lot too.
        I think this is fantastic start on your Venice dairies – I have never played with the thought to visit Venice for some reason, maybe you can change my mind. *smile

      2. Venice will always be at the top of my list, and I’m very much looking forward to my next visit. I can’t think of many other places I would rather visit.
        I don’t tell enough stories of my travels, I always like the idea of being a travel writer when I was younger. I guess I have my chance now!

        With regards to post not being more than 500 words, I shrug my shoulders at it really, you can always write a longer piece and publish it in parts just to make it more appealing to your readers, or just post a long piece. If one person reads it and likes it, then it was worth writing [smile]

      3. You’re a great “storyteller” and I enjoy your posts very much – and if the story is told right it doesn’t matter if the story is long or short.
        There is always so much to write about when I have been out travelling and some stories can’t be split in two parts – like a review of a hotel or a restaurant.
        I agree with you, about if only one person likes the post. Very wisely said.

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