Living in Florence this summer making videos feels like eons away, another lifetime. Some of the fondest memories I have, besides meeting too many fantastic individuals, were my solo morning outings in the Florentine fog. I so enjoyed walking down the cobblestone streets, by quiet cafes stocking up for the day, and by the merchants at the market setting up their leather bags and goods for display. Florentine mornings still have that mysterious, eerie feel to them - it must have felt that way during the height of the Renaissance, too - or is that characteristic something I just attach to what I know about Florence?
The bats screech in the morning and the Duomo doesn't necessarily pierce the sky, but dominates with a thundering certainty. The bells of the tower woke me up every morning at precisely 7:00 am. Next door to our apartment was Verrazano Cafe, a small and quintessentially Florentine spot that I somehow walked past every day on my way to another cafe. Silver espresso machines hiss and steam up countertops, men converse (or argue?) animatedly in front of open electric truck doors, and miraculously the streets are still void of tourists so early. Men in suits have newspapers folded under their arms and huddle in front of impressive building doors; an office to somewhere. Stacks of crates holding glass bottles of acqua are trustfully left unattended at store fronts waiting to be loaded in. Some tired, groggy travelers wheel in luggage on the uneven cobblestones, but that's the only staccato that breaks the constant yet serene hum of the morning. Foreign salesmen adorn their vendor tents with belts, and street sweepers spray the grey stone ground, cruising by the sides of buildings. Waiters set tables for the day, clinking the occasional glass and silverware.
One time on my morning adventures I was actually too early for a cafe I wanted to go to. So I started heading back to the apartment, known as Tav, for Tavolini. I stopped to take pictures of the bats, which still fascinate me - and a college aged girl interrupted me and said, "excuse me, are you the vlogger?"
That was my celebrity moment!
Her name was Margot, I think, and she was oh so kind. I don't think I'll ever be "spotted" like that again. But besides the vanity and the lattes and the elaborate morning routine of Florence, it is breathtaking and so comforting to me.