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Beautiful things are unforgettable

ITALY | Monday, 14 September 2015 | Views [287]



                We were taking a trip usually reserved for those in one of the following three situations: on their honeymoon, away with the mistress, or in a post-retirement wedding anniversary. Only we were barely past our twenties and our budget was shorter than the clothes we were wearing on that hotter-than-the-sun September in Tuscany.

                The lady from the guest house had already pointed out the cheapest places for us to eat – which, of course, were still more delicious than the most expensive restaurants in England, because Italian food is that ridiculous – and she had taken away any hope we had to visit the wineries without laughing at our penniless naïve faces. We loved her.

                But Florence was quite small, considering we were going to be there for five days, so we decided to explore our options. And by exploring our options I mean getting in a random city bus and letting it take us some place we kind of knew existed near Florence.

                Thank God it was hot and water was welcome, because we were drooling all the way to Fiesole. The view from the window, as the bus went all the way up five miles, was cuter than a baby panda. Florence is not filled with tall buildings like most cities. It’s packed with pastel-coloured houses and old-fashioned bridges, plus quite a lot of green. Once we actually got to Fiesole and were able to stare at the city from there, it looked like what I picture was the view the guards who stayed at the castles’ towers in the Middle Ages had.

                We walked the entire town in about half an hour. Like most places in Italy, it had historical ruins open for visitation, but, like most places in Italy, we had no money to get in. So what was left to do was taking a nice hike to an old church even higher up. The view got better every step we took, though it always seemed impossible to get prettier. We walked past a beautiful white graveyard, filled with colourful flowers and occasional photos of the deceased. After eight months living in England, it was very weird to finally encounter my very Latin name, repeatedly written over the tombstones.

                As we reached the peak point, we started our journey back to the centre of Fiesole, where we had spotted a couple of restaurants earlier. Needless to say, the food was amazing and we wanted to eat that spaghetti carbonara forever until we turned into a ball and could roll all the way down to Florence. Also needless to say, the restaurant had a beautiful view of the city. Fiesole as a whole was like the top of a giant skyscraper made of green and dirt.

                We had walked past a gelato place before, but it was closed for lunch. European towns are full of small family businesses that can still afford to keep to the “lunch time is sacred time” tradition. And you never regret waiting. That gelato was magic.

                As we got into the bus and were heading back to Florence, we saw a couple of wooden benches about halfway to the city, in the middle of nowhere, facing the view – evidently. And we took the bus back there half an hour before sunset the next day.

                Few things my eyes will see in this life are going to top that sunset. It blew my mind, and opened my mouth. I went on and on about the spectacular experience we were having at such a young age and how maybe we would never come back there and, if we did, we would not have the money to do that for years and years ahead.

                Because that’s what beautiful things do to us. They amaze us and get us depressed all at once. And they’re unforgettable.

Tags: budget trip, bus trip, fiesole, italy, landscape, sunset, tuscany, view


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