Memories of the Arno
The return along the banks of the Arno, the sun setting; water dispersing in golden sands; some fishermen far away in the distance: smoke rising from the rooftops, first grey, then becoming golden at the touch of the sun. The glow lasts a long time, on the roofs around San Miniato, the white walls of the villas the colour of unripened apricots, the cypresses around appearing hazier. The falls of the Arno have mother-of-pearl scales of pale green, and further down, the same colour with an orange tinge. The fishermen in the distance pull up their fish-traps and go back to their boats... these wonderful days that are getting longer.
Melancholy clouds in the west, but under the clouds, at the extreme edge of the horizon, the sun's rays blazing between the green of the trees ablaze: reddening in the middle, a lucent delicate orange at the sides. It was a show rather than a poetical fancy ... A walk along the Arno; the beautiful spectacle of Ponte Santa Trinità from Ponte alla Carraia; and the moon reflected in the rich river bed of the Arno; and the clouds painting the water pale pink; and the Cascine crowned by a sweetly serene twilight; and the palaces that in the soft evening rays seemed an ideal theatre.
Of all the capitals of Italy, none has left me with such pleasant memories as Florence. Far from feeling myself consumed by spleen as I was later to be in Rome and Naples, unknown to everyone and not knowing anyone, with only a handful of coins at my disposition, I spent a series of delightful days, either visiting the many monuments, dreaming of Michelangelo, or reading Shakespeare in the delicious woods that flank the left bank of the Arno, where the deep silence gave me the opportunity to shout out my admiration.
All I can say is, I shall love the dust of Florence, the letters which make up its name, every man, woman and child it holds.
Taken from"From Florence with love"
Casa Editrice FMG - On sale at "Solo a Firenze", Via SS. Apostoli, 37r - Firenze