Nine years ago today, I arrived in Florence, Italy. Here is a photo I took that day from my balcony at the lovely hotel I stayed in, on the Piazza Santa Maria Novella. From the moment my plane touched down, I felt like I’d come home. My family background is 100% Italian, so I guess it’s in my genes.
The cathedral you see is the church of Santa Maria Novella. “Novella” means new, but construction began in 1276, making this the oldest of Florence’s great basilicas. It was only called “new” because it was built on the site of a 9th-century oratory.
Those tents in the foreground? They were the home of the annual Gelato Festival. It had various sites around the city, but the piazza just beneath my balcony was the flagship. Did we pick the perfect time and place to visit Florence, or what?