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  • Writer's pictureLeanne W. Smith

Tanto da amare: So much to love

How do I love Florence? Let me count the ways. I love the dark chocolate. In molten lava cakes with strawberries. In Baci (kisses) made in Perugina. In the glass tureen at Rimani's that comes out thick, like hot pudding. You can drink it or eat it with a tiny silver spoon.

I love the architecture. The Baroque of Rome. The Renaissance of Florence. Medieval structures dating back to the days of knights at roundtables. The Pantheon of antiquity. How is that open dome still standing? I don't's a marvel of construction, like the Colosseum.  I love the old elevators. The winding marble staircases. The blue skies that make me want to stop and take a picture of the Duomo every time I pass it. I love the history. More appropriately, I love that efforts have been made to memorialize the history, which is not always sunlight on roses. On Wednesday we visited the American Cemetery in Florence. Over 4,000 men lie interred there. It happened to be my late father's birthday. Then, on the wall of those listed whose bodies were never found, names mirroring that of my father's father: James Oscar Wood. It gave me reason to remember, which is what I appreciate about memorials. Finally, I love the way Italians eat. Fresh. Buying only food needed for the day, like Israelites gathering up manna. With the help of my handy Google Translate app, I bought ingredients for my first attempt at baking: banana bread, or...pane alla banana. Imagine my joy when I took it from the oven feeling like Tom Hanks as Chuck Noland standing on a beach beating his chest after having made fire. "I made fi-re!" "I made pane alla ba-na-na!" So much to love. Wish you were here.


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