March 3, 2014

A Simple Sunday

Waking up with nothing to do is blissful. Not having to hit snooze a dozen times and whine to the morning gods that it is too early is one of the better moments in life. Even living in Italy, it can really be these little things that make you appreciate life. 

Sundays are one of my favorite days of the week. There are so many great simplicities on Sundays. My primary preference is "Scumball Sundays" (patent pending), when I don't leave the house or do anything relatively close to productive. Brunch is the primary meal of the day, and there's no going wrong with bacon and mimosas at 11 am. Everything is a little more relaxed on a Sunday. The streets are quieter, hushed from those suffering hangovers, and no one is rushing around with the usual frantic purpose of the week. 

Having been a frantic rusher for the past few weekends (not that there are any complaints here) I have been craving a chill weekend to enjoy Florence and a little relaxation. Friday and Saturday, I spent predominately tucked in hiding from the rain. I took advantage of an uncommon "Scumball Saturday", filled with tea and a Criminal Minds marathon. 

On Sunday I woke to a quite apartment. My whole gang of roommates had departed for the day so I had the place to myself. I think we all know that being home alone is one of those "little things" I was talking about. I opened the apartment windows to let in the sun that had finally peaked out from behind the clouds, turned on iTunes, and began to sing along. I cracked a few eggs on the stove and had breakfast going in no time. I danced around the kitchen, as I moved my cuisine from pan to plate. 

After eating breakfast I took my time dressing for the day, savoring a long hot shower, without worry of hogging the bathroom. Even though a part of me dreaded leaving the rarity of the empty apartment, I couldn't not take advantage of the sunshine. Grabbing my museum pass and camera, I was out the door. I wandered through the serene streets of Florence, across the Arno, on my way to the Palazzo Pitti, prepared to enjoy the Galleria Palentina and the Museo d'arte Moderna

Of the things I like to do alone, and things I should do alone, museums fall under the should category. I love a good museum. I'm that girl reading every plaque under every item. It takes me hours to get through an exhibit. I am a Humanities major, people should really expect this from me; but they don't. I am consistently left far behind, or forced to rush through the displays, making me bitter by the time we exit for not having seen everything. So, this all in mind, museums alone are usually best. Lucky for me, my loner-Sunday allowed me to spend around four hours wandering through two of the museums housed in the Pitti Palace. 

Obviously, I could go on all about the art in the museums, but I'd rather not bore you (especially since I don't have any pictures to accompany my ramblings on art). I did happen to sneak a few pictures of what you can see outside, from inside. In my experience of Florentine museums thus far, I can vouch that some of the most spectacular views of the city come from strolling down the halls of these buildings.     

When I was finally ready to leave the palazzo I noted a sign for a "grand exit". I've also found in Italy that there are often many exits, and you are constantly being led towards all of them. Moreover, there are some very ambiguous signs that often look as if they're not meant for the general public. These sign characteristics tend to leave the masses following whatever sign is most predominant, rather than risk getting in trouble for following the slightly less reassuring sign. 

When I was a sophomore in high school one of my favorite teachers taught me something very important: "It is always better to ask forgiveness than permission". With this mindset, I follow the slightly more questionable sign every time. Nine times out of ten, this is the best choice; the "grand exit" was one of the nine times.

I could just imagine being a lady (principessa) of the Medici family, descending the grand staircase. My fantasy was all the more enhanced by the resonating silence in the corridor, as it became clear I was the only one who had decided to use this path of descent.

I was greeted at the bottom by a real princess, whose dress, even in stone, easily outdid mine. 

The exit placed me in the center of the palace, feeling like an ant amongst the stones yet again. 

Out in front of the palace it was clear that I wasn't the only ant out to enjoy the sun on such a beautiful day. Hoards of locals and tourists alike loitered outside on the slope of the piazza.

I wandered back home through the unpopulated streets parallel the busy square, enjoying the freedom of being on my own, not needing to walk quickly or worry about getting lost. 

Somehow no matter where you walk in Florence, you can always find the river or the Duomo. With these orientating landmarks, it is difficult to remain lost for very long.  

Getting home I found my apartment no longer empty, but alive with those coming home from weekend travels. Welcoming the company, we made dinner plans and caught up on our weekends apart. Soon it was time for bed, and I lied there and thought of my day. My Sunday was not full of excitement, but full of simplicity, full of "little things": singing aloud, a quite street, a great view. I fell asleep full of contentment with these things.

Yours, Kenna 

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