I first experienced Florence about three years ago when I decided on a whim to spend all the money that I didn't have as a college student so that I could visit my girlfriend studying there. I had always wanted to see Italy but I had never really experienced much outside of the U.S. except for beach resorts in Central America. I wasn't really prepared for the things I was about to experience. I stepped off my plane and met my girlfriend at the airport in Pisa where we took a bus Florence. I remember looking out of the window into the Tuscan countryside still not really prepared for what I was about to experience. I admit I postponed my experience with a nap the second that I arrived, while she attended class .
Fast forward three years to July of this year when I returned to Florence with the same girl having recently broken up. Somehow the city still had the same magic for me, and I could see that it did for her as well. This time was different though. It was summer, and the crowded tourist streets detoured us from certain activities that we wanted to do because it was just impossible. The Jersey Shore cast wandered through the cluttered market. Florence was still beautiful, and the duomo still struck me as always when I turned the corner into the main piazza but this time was different. We saw all of the familiar places that reminded me of the of three years ago, and even went bar hopping this time. We spoke Italian as we wandered through the streets. We even tricked some American students into believing that I was her Italian boyfriend for our own enjoyment, and, of course, they were extremely jealous. We went to Aqua al 2 to enjoy the steaks that won over our hearts and stomachs the first time, but even they didn't have the same effect this time. I had to wonder if maybe this is just Florence in the summer.