The winter blues really got the best of me this year. Even though the snow was modest and didn’t completely paralyze the city of Boston, I still felt this looming empty gray feeling consume me. It was challenging to feel any kind of inspiration all winter long. Either it was too cold to go out and shoot around the city, or it was dark too early to feel motivated towards doing anything. Seasonal depression was something I had never previously experienced. But I guess I had never realized how much I rely on sunshine and beautiful weather to make my mood.
Florence was that special something I needed to raise me right out of the gloomy depths of New England.
On our last full day in Florence we had the most wonderful day enjoying the pure enchanting feeling of being in the Renaissance City. It was the best of all the days weather-wise, with the sun shinning brightly, few clouds in the sky, and the warmth of 75 degrees all around us. It was Vitamin D heaven.
We started off our morning with a walk over Ponte Santa Trinita so we could admire the Ponte Vecchio in the glistening Italian sun. After snapping a few pictures, we made our way over to Piazza Santa Croce where we stopped into Cafe Mario for a quick croissant (one of my favorite places for great morning snacks). Eating our delicious cornettos, we strolled through the piazza to visit the Church of Santa Croce. We both had already visited this gorgeous church in the past, but with it’s massive size and rich history, it deserves more than one visit. Taking our time, we grazed through the colorful courtyard, admired the tombs of Michelangelo and Galileo, and learned about the fascinating unfinished Pazzi Chapel.
We made our way into the second courtyard of Santa Croce, when we both decided to sit down and just relax. Taking a deep breath, I leaned up against one of the old pillars, looked up to the blue sky, and felt all the weight of the last 8 months evaporate into the Florentine air. I could have sat there for hours, it felt amazing to have finally found a remedy for my winter blues. My soul felt so full of happiness and it was one of the moments in my life where I was truly blissfully fulfilled. I felt at peace. I sat with my face towards the sun for a little while longer and appreciated where I was and the amazing week I just had.
We spent a lot of time in the Santa Croce courtyard. I moved spots a couple times and was just shooting away, completely freed and serene. Each time I visit, I find myself connecting with new things that I hadn’t before. I get this particular emotional feeling every time I am in Florence. In 2013 it was in Piazza della Signorina at sunset eating pizza on the steps of Loggia dei Lanzi while listening to the guitar player serenading the square. In 2016 it was on the rooftop of Hotel Baglioni enjoying a bottle of wine, and now in 2017 it was in the Santa Croce, chiostro grande. It was the feeling of unconditional love.
My trip to Florence was of course filled with amazing eating, gorgeous weather, and unforgettable memories, but it mainly was a self-care trip. I feel refreshed and haven’t been able to get this permeant smile off of my face since I got home. I’m eager to go back and think about it everyday, but I know my next trip back isn’t too far away. Saluti!