The Dream City

Il_Duomo_Florence_ItalyI haven’t been to Florence, and today I am feeling it keenly. This longing for Florence is a regular occurrence that usually coincides with the end of the semester. When I teach Western Civilization I (and I’m always teaching it), I end the semester with a couple of lectures on the Renaissance. We discuss Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Da Vinci, and Michelangelo. Few cities can boast that they nurtured so much genius.

But my fascination with Florence actually has little to do with all that genius. I dreamed of standing beside the Arno long before I’d ever heard of Petrarch. Continue reading