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On top of Florence

Thursday, February 17, 2005

I met Debora downtown at the Edison bookstore in Piazza Repubblica this afternoon. After browsing all three floors, we purchased a few books. We decided to go and get a drink somewhere to just chat. She had told me about the bar at the top of "La Rinascente" (a department store) on the other side of the piazza.

From the piazza below, we could see the terrazza perched atop of "La Rinascente." We took the elevator up and arrived in the household items floor. In the back, was a staircase that led to the bar. And once in the bar, another winding staircase that led up to the outside terrazza.

The glass door slid open as we approached it and the cold air hit our faces. There were three Japanese girls huddled together at one of the tables drinking coffee and hot chocolates; all the other tables were empty. We made our way to the railing and stood side by side.

It was, as Debora had always told me, a spectacular view of Florence. We looked out at the Piazza Repubblica and saw the tops of many churches, like Orsanmichele (my favorite one). We could even see Piazza Michelangelo and all the way to the hilltops of Fiesole and Sesto-Fiorentino (two suburbs of Florence).

But mostly, it is quiet and peaceful high above. We looked out onto the rooftops of all the buildings, saw a few terrazze with small gardens. We didn't speak; we just took in the views of Florence, a city that seems to get even more beautiful each time I stop to notice.

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