More to Sights than Seeing

21 May

A flash of bright light and a surge of wind strikes my face as I emerge from the dark corridor below. It is slightly chilly but the heat from the suns rays warms the surface of my skin. I take a few more steps up and feel goose bumps begin to populate the back of my neck. I peer into the distance. The view from the top of il Duomo stuns me for a moment and I feel as if Firenze is at my fingertips. This was my first time seeing Florence in its entirety and I have to say, it was majestic.

After this initial reaction, I began to think about where I was. That’s when it hit me like a train. The reason my view was so beautiful was not because of what I was seeing but rather the history behind what I was seeing. I began to wonder how many people have seen this view. In the over 8 centuries since the Duomo was complete, how many have stood where I stood, breathed the same air, and felt the way I felt at that moment. We are all very different I am sure, but at that moment we were all the same. All of us stunned. The longer I stood there, the deeper I fell into thought. I thought about how the Duomo was built, the material they used, you know engineering stuff. I was finally released from my thought when I was asked by a nice couple from Washington to take a picture. I agreed and they thanked me as I began my descent back to the ground.

I thought about my view from the Duomo for many hours that night. I began to have an appreciation for the time, effort, and lives of those who worked so hard to give me the opportunity to experience such a breath-taking view. I realize now that sight-seeing is not taking pictures and talking about beauty. It is about the emotions attached to a painting or monument and the history of what you cannot see. I never understood why art was so popular. My bias toward art quickly dissolved when I saw the beauty of the Duomo. I felt humbled at that moment and I am ready to learn more of what Firenze has to teach me.


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