A few people have asked me recently, "Vai a casa per le feste? (Are you going home for the holidays?)" It's a logical question given that I'm American, but anyone who knows me well would know that I am already home in Florence. To one of my acquaintances, I responded, "Firenze è casa mia...è quindi sono a casa per le feste. (Florence is my home; therefore, I am home for the holidays." My acquaintance responded, "È bello sentirti dire che Firenze è casa tua. (It's nice to hear you say that Florence is your home.)"
I have felt that Florence was my home for a long time. And well before I married Alessandro, who is fiorentino (Florentine). I honestly have felt that it was my home when I first lived here back in 1997. I was drawn to come to Florence to learn Italian and to find my inspiration to write and very shortly after my arrival, I was under her spell.
Anyone who has ever felt at home in a place where they were not born can easily understand this feeling. It's a feeling that I have that makes me feel as if I can't live anywhere else. I don't feel myself unless I'm here. I don't think that anyone can logically grasp this concept as it's something that I feel and not something that I understand fully with my head.
Florence, to me, is not only an aesthetically beautiful city filled with museums, art, magnificent churches, delicious food, and lively people. But, it is a city that has opened its heart to me and has shown me glimpses of its magnificent soul. Florence is like a person to whom I was initially attracted. At first, I wanted to see Florence all the time. And, the more time I spent navigating its streets and visiting its sights, my heart gradually opened and one day I was overcome with love.
I am very grateful to Florence as it is has nudged me to be true to myself, follow my heart, and have faith that everything in life will always work out.
If home is where the heart is and my heart is in Florence, then it is no surprise that Florence is my home.
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