Monday morning, 6:18am

Our train arrived in Florence this morning as scheduled, at precisely 6:18am. The sky was still completely dark and the city was just beginning to wake up. We wandered through streets and piazzi, alone but for street sweepers and the occasional biker. It was cold; we could see our breath in the air. We took pictures of closed landmarks and empty squares. We followed the smell of delicious things baking and the sound of locals laughing to a bar where we ordered sweet pastries and frothy cappuccini, which we consumed at a tall table surrounded by Italians stopping in on their way to work. The sky slowly grew light, but the hazy fog remained. There wasn’t a tourist to be found. Except for us, of course.

It was magical. Surely any city can be discovered anew in the early morning hours, but this city in particular, previously seen only through summer crowds, seemed ours alone this morning. As we walked through those same streets and piazzi later in the long-awaited sunlight, we felt privy to a secret, to the real Florence.

We’ve been here less than 24 hours, but we already have our favorite coffee place, our favorite restaurant, our favorite bar. And isn’t that the way to travel: finding corners of an unfamiliar city, staking your claim, and planting your flag in the ground? This morning before the sun came up, all of Florence was ours for the taking.

And so we did.


  1. Ahhhh, bliss. Sounds fantastic.

  2. Great story!

    Reminds me of my Copenhagen bike trip 1967; we stayed on the rÄdhuspladsen all night to see the city go to sleep and wake up again...

  3. This is great writing. Thank you for allowing me to be in Florence at daybreak!
    Loved it . . . . .


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