Travel Journal | Florence

I have been to Florence Italy twice and both times I loved it. I am looking forward to visiting Italy again someday when the Coronavirus is over. Until then I will pay a visit in some other way which I share in this post.

  • Read all about it

  • Browse your travel journal

  • Create a make-believe day

At the end of the post, I share how all this can inspire a staycation in your own area with a 72-hour tourist ticket.

1| Read all about it

I know no better way to transport me to another place than by reading fiction. A quick visit on Goodreads helped me with a list of books set in Florence. Here I share two I have read and two I want to read.

  • Inferno Dan Brown
  • The Divine Comedy Dante Alighieri
  • The Portrait of a Lady Henry James
  • Pinocchio Carlo Collodi

2| Browse your travel journal with a writing prompts

To be honest I am not very good at updating my travel journal while I am on vacation but I do manage to write a couple of sentences here and there or fill it with some photos and receipts. What I then do after being home for a while is to use my scattered notes for the Natalie Goldberg prompts – ” I remember . . . and I don’t remember . . .

Here are two paragraphs I wrote from this exercise |

The first time I went to Florenc our first meal was MacDonalds I could imagine Dante assigning me to a circle of hell for this but we got a very good tourist map out of it which was a very good thing because this was before smartphones. It helped us find the hostel that looked like an old roman mansion with a garden that smelled of lemons.

The second time I went there was on my honeymoon. We stayed in a small hotel where an elderly man took care of all the tasks of a small hotel. With his white hair, he reminded me of Geppetto from the Disney version of Pinocchio. During our stay, we noticed he had quite a few costume changes during the day and found out he had jackets in different colors which he changed between according to the task at hand. When he helped us to our room he wore white when he cleaned he changed to burgundy, and when he was in charge of food it was the blue one.

3| Create a make-believe day in Florence

The best part of my trip to Florence was food and wine. The first meal was a fresh squid pasta and I can still recall the texture and the colors of this dish. One of the best ways to trick memories is through the use of smell. So if I want to spend a day in Florence I make pasta while I sip a good glass of wine.

Great artists came from Florence so invoke the appreciation of art by looking up a great piece of art, paint a picture yourself, become an anonymous patron by buying something from a local artist or author. Create something on commission even if it is just your kid who wants you to draw a cat. Imagine rooming the streets of Florence having the eye of an artist.

For writers try this

  • Read all about it – Choose a book you want to read that takes place where you want to go on vacation

  • Browse your travel journal – Think of a vacation you took and try out the Natalie Goldberg exercise I remember . . .

  • Create a make-believe day – Describe the picture you hold in your mind’s eye which you would like to paint if you had the skills of for example Leonardo Da Vinci.

72 H Tourist Ticket in Your Own Area

Imagine having a free ticket to be a tourist in your own area and ask yourself where would I go and how. I could go on a bus, go by foot, car, bicycle or canoe. Both times I visited Florence I saw the cathedral/Duomo, the bridge Ponte Vecchio, the Uffizi Gallery, and the Boboli Gardens. I can scale this down and visit a local church building, walk over a small bridge, look up a local gallery, and stroll around in my garden or a nearby park or forest. For three days I give myself permission to see everything with new eyes and indulge in the same activities I would if on a vacation.

Action step| After three days of being a tourist in your area, write a list of ten things you love about the city or town you live in and then a list of ten things you don’t like. Pick one thing you wrote from each list and write a paragraph about a fictive place that displays this love-hate relationship.

Where will you go on your next vacation?

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