Sometimes, when I can’t sleep, I close my eyes and imagine myself riding my old, broken-down bicycle through the medieval streets of Florence. It is early morning as I leave my apartment on Via dello Sprone in the Oltrarno, near the Ponte Vecchio, and I pedal down my street and travel over the Ponte Santa Trinita. From there, I turn down the quiet boutique-filled Via delle Belle Donne, and cycle toward the school where I was once a student, and later, where I worked as a teaching assistant. Sometimes in my mind’s eye, it’s perfect weather; sometimes there’s a light rain. As I drift off to sleep, I can hear the sounds of the city—the sound of my wheels on the cobblestones, the bicycle bells, the cars and scooters, people speaking to each other in Italian. I can hear the beautiful peal of the church bells and the thunderous crash of the rolling metal blinds as shopkeepers open up for the day. As I pedal through the city that is so familiar, past my favorite coffee bars and pastry shops, I finally give way to sleep.
Header art by T. Guzzio. Original photo via the author.
CONNECT WITH CECILY:
Cecily Pollard is a recovering Italophile of British descent, with training in photography and a degree in Art History. You can find her on Twitter @CecilyPollard.
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