I can hardly believe that I’m in Italy. Florence still seems a mystic place even though I’m here. The town is drab, wet, and tired. Luxury brands are juxtaposed with ornate Renaissance churches and statutes. The place is caughtup in itself; too long looking back at former glories. Designer brands may help, but they prove empty dreams of businesspeople not always intent on art.
Tourists fill a few streets while other streets are shoddy and vacant, save the small shops that line them. I’m thankful for those small, family-owned shops. But they lack the vigor of my New York City.
Perhaps vim and vigor is not always desirable. Perhaps we need time to slow down and rest. Perhaps the Italians feel this way. If so, Florence doesn’t give you the thrill of being in a city. You’re not in the city, you are in history, a mixed up history in which Tommy Hilfinger stands beside the Medici’s ancient church.