When I think of Florence, I imagine the video game Assassin’s Creed, delicious Italian food, and unique people. Growing up an avid gamer, I loved to play Assasin’s Creed. I enjoyed the story mode, as I actually felt that I was traveling through Europe as the main character, Ezio Auditore. What has stuck out to me the most about this game is the brilliant architecture of the Italian cities, particularly Florence. While we will not be running on top of the roofs and completing missions like I did in the game, I hope to be astonished by the buildings and ginormous churches that make Florence so special. The next preconceived notion that I have of Florence is that it has fantastic food. As my mom’s side of the family is very Italian, I have been raised to love food. My extended family owns an Italian restaurant in downtown Minneapolis called Broders. The Broders family is obsessed with its food, and the restaurant’s pizza and pasta are just short of perfection. When I think of Florence, I can not help but imagine authentic pasta, bread, and pizza. I am sure the food in Italy will be much better than an American restaurant that prides itself on being Italian. With that being said, I will try picturing food that is even better than the counterfeit stuff I have loved all my life the next time I jump onto the treadmill. The final preconceived notion that I have of Florence is that the people go with the flow and have a strong sense of nationalism. As stated in my previous post, I have had a lot of exposure to Italians, as my best friend is fluent in Italian and travels there to see his family every year. My friend and his mother are the most happy-go-lucky people I have ever met. They refuse to sweat the small things and have an optimistic outlook on life that I admire. On top of this, they cherish their Italian culture and rarely pass up on the opportunity to talk about what makes Italy so great. I am excited to see if the architecture in Florence is as stunning as it is in the video games, if the pasta is that much better than it is at Broders, and if the people are as prideful and optimistic as the Italians that I’ve encountered.
As I dive deeper into the city of Florence beyond these preconceived notions, I’m impressed by its art and transportation. While I have never been great at drawing or painting, I have a strong appreciation for art, especially the stories behind the legendary artists. While Florence may have great museums, I am most impressed by the artistic legends who lived and worked in the city. It will be breathtaking to walk around the same streets, look at the same views, and smell the same smells as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. I am excited to learn about their artwork and dwell on the realization that I am learning about their work in the same place that they worked. Through research, I am intrigued by Florence’s uniquely compact city limits. While they have an intensive bus system, it is amazing knowing that you can walk anywhere in the town in just a few hours. With this, I am sure we will be getting quite the workout in Florence, exploring its museums and architecture, as truly everything will be within walking distance. The walk from the statue David to the Florence Cathedral is only 5 minutes long!
As I begin to explore what makes Florence unique beyond its fun facts and history, it will be necessary to study it through the city-as-text approach. Through this, I hope to find the answer to the question: How does Florence’s art, size, and food affect the way that people within the city interact with each other and people visiting their beloved city?
I might begin to answer this million dollar answer by soaking up the city’s unique culture and treating my time in the town as I am living there, not only traveling. I hope to fall in love with Florence’s food, art, architecture, and easily walkable size. Through this, I plan on interacting with the other CR members, the locals, and tourists with the nationalism and pride that comes along with the admiration for the city’s unique culture. Through this research, I will look at the art, not only as it is now, but as it was created, in the same city. I believe that if I walk through the city with the lens that I am a member of its unique community I will have a greater appreciation for its history and will learn more about how the people treat each other and show off their treasure to those who want to learn more about what makes Florence, Florence.