Last sunset in June
"A world of disorderly notions, picked out of his books, crowded into his imagination; and now his head was full of nothing but enchantments, quarrels, battles, challenges, wounds, complaints, amours, torments, and abundance of stuff and impossibilities." (Cervantes, Don Quixote)
I found this article today in the online edition of The Christian Science Monitor, and I post it here because even though I have never met her, the author is clearly a woman after my own heart. She writes about Florence, Italy -- my favorite city on earth -- and she approaches it the way I did during my visit there with my wife four years ago. I have a strong sense of history, and Florence practically exudes history. The author tells of what it meant to her to walk literally in the footsteps of the likes of Dante, Michelangelo, and Brunelleschi, and I can relate to that sentiment. For instance, the bed-and-breakfast place where we stayed is only a few yards down the street from the Casa di Dante, which in fact may or may not have been Dante's actual residence; but the possibility that it might not be where he really lived did not matter to me in the least as I spent about 2-1/2 hours exploring the house one Saturday afternoon, viewing the exhibits and wondering if the room devoted now to the Battle of Campaldino had been Dante's sitting room, and perhaps the very place where he decided his life's mission was to write about Beatrice what had never before been written about any woman. And when I first stepped onto the south bank of the Arno after crossing the Ponte Vecchio, I reflected on the murder of Buondelmonte de' Buondelmonti on that very spot in the year 1215, which precipitated the feud between Guelf and Ghibelline which so dominated the life of Florence during the 13th century. For me, the entire six days we spent in Florence was consumed by such reflections as these.