About Beautiful Florence

The idea to call this blog Beautiful Florence came from a conversation during which I recalled that the gorgeous, sunny weather of spring 2011 was identical to the one I experienced upon my arrival here during the 1980s.  The unchanging light had a softness complemented by the scent of flowers.  As the spring passed,  the days became longer, the weather milder.  It seemed possible to toccare il cielo con un dito (touch the sky with your hand).

      Florence was so beautiful then.  It rarely rained—at that time I did not realize that such a perfect spring only happened every seven years or so.  Back in the ‘80s, in the sunlight, the soul of Florence—which was the soul of humanity as expressed through the Renaissance—was completely visible.  

     At that time, as an artisan friend Agostino Dessi said, “Firenze era la più bella città del mondo” (Florence was the most beautiful city in the world).  Sadly, over the past decades, with its adaptation to mass tourism, the soul of Florence is less apparent.  Rain or shine,  Beautiful Florence does exist, and you can still find it—I am here to help you look.

       I will also help you discover the Tuscan soul in the countryside, cities, villages and coast, where it still strongly evident.

      A final note:  when I decided to create Beautiful Florence—not having looked at another blog—the Florentine art supply shop Zecchi gave me a diary (pictured) as a gift.  Made of parchment and handmade paper, it was the handcraft of a Florentine artisan firm, which has, sadly, gone out of business.  As Tuscany’s only professionally accredited English-speaking journalist, I started looking around to handwrite notes in my diario.  The actual book reflects the qualities inherent to Beautiful Florence.