What do you say about Florence, Italy? It’s a conundrum. The birthplace of the Renaissance, the cultural center of Europe. Cathedrals and museums are world-class. And that’s Florence’s problem. It’s being loved to death by hordes of tourists. And following the hordes, like bees to a field of clover, are the crass purveyors of luxury goods. Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Gucci, Prada stores occupy what were once artists’ studios and sculptors workshops.
Where else can you stroll the same pedestrian streets walked by Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Botticelli while savoring the world’s best gelato.
The dichotomy is profound. But people, locals, and tourists alike sail through their everyday lives, happy to be soaking up all that Florence has to offer.
Back in the day, I actually studied photography in Florence for a few months, and my photography teacher took away my digital camera and said, ‘No, use this – it’s analog and it’s square.’ It was a Holga camera, a very cheap $3 or $4 plastic camera. And that’s what inspired ‘Instagram’.
But, in spite of it all, Florence is calling me back.