Writing about a fascination incites to living it twice. Florence (and all Italy) transmits a special magnetism to me, either at night or in the daylight. Indeed, I feel the more you visit a site, the more your identity will be linked to it. Choosing a place is never incidental, but caused by a wish, a certain object of desire. I have felt in love with Florence just as I could have with a person, thus looking to make the affair last, and staying here forever. Is it a whim? Certainly, one that´s rooted deep inside of me.

As I arrived in Berlin, I remember being fascinated by its wide sidewalks, streets and avenues. I sense the opposite in Florence, where a car hardly fits in its streets and maximum of two people can meet on the sidewalks. In Berlin, I might just longed for distance. Now I search for proximity. Closeness. They say that Berlin is a cosmopolitan city, but in Florence I hear everyday languages that I could never identify. Florence windows are not double-glazed. Not so isolated like those in Berlin. I get up sometimes at night to check that mine are not open …The city enters my room as if I really lived in the street. And I do not care, because I know all of these little bits, together, are called life.

What I enjoy most in life is my extended visits to Florence with no plans, neither a date to leave. When you live among three cities, it is difficult to determine which one becomes your home or which your identity is. There are places that I feel more like my house, even if I don´t reside most of the year there. This is what happens with Florence. Some of my friends do not understand why I live in Florence, while others believe I tend to idealize it too much. The most surprised by my choice are Italians, including the Florentines themselves.

To all, even me, the explanation resides within the words of the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca, as written in the foreword of Impresiones y paisajes (Impressions and landscapes, 1918): «We ought always to understand by pouring our soul over things, by seeing the spiritual where it does not exist, by shaping all with the charm of emotions. When in solitary places, it is vital to perceive the ancient souls that have passed through there; it is essential to be one and, at the same time, to be a thousand, in order to sense in all nuances. We must be both religious and profane. Indeed, to imagine the mysticism of a severe Gothic cathedral along with a wonder of pagan Greece. To see and feel all in eternity brings the reward of having no boundaries, no horizons.”

  • Paco Neumann
  • : Paco Neumann is a journalist, photographer, proofreader and perpetual amateur currently living in between Florence, Berlin and Tenerife. He's been a regular contributor to fashion, art, trend and lifestyle magazines and worked for news, advertising and communication agencies.
  • : https://www.withinflorence.com/
  • : https://www.facebook.com/withinflorence/
  • : Within Florence is a visual diary conceived by journalist and press photographer Paco Neumann to mirror his daily encounters with the capital of Tuscany as well as to reveal the best spots and useful tips in town. Focused on glowing images with succinct descriptions in English and Spanish, the blog has a novel approach to discovering the city.
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  • : https://www.withinflorence.com/.