adventure is out there

Yesterday Peppe heard about a festival in the Cascine park with lots of people and animals. It seemed the perfect way to spend a lazy Sunday evening, which turned into my favorite day in Florence so far.  After some confusion with buses we were on our way and decided to take the tram, a first time for both of us. I was eager to reach the park before sunset.

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There isn’t much vegetation or trees in the city center so entering the park, we were overcome with peaceful feelings. Peppe mentioned a specific smell in the air that was different from in the city. We weren’t quite sure where the festivities were, but, naturally I wanted to chase light which led us through the trees to the edge of the Arno.

DSC_6860 copyJust in time to enjoy the sunset, we sat near the river and drank some wine. I love this about Italy, seriously, you can walk down the street or sit in a park drinking beer/wine and nobody cares as long as you aren’t belligerent.

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DSC_6889 copyPersonally, I would venture to guess that not much feels better than being bathed in warm light from a setting sun over a river in Florence and sharing that with my Italian boyfriend. I’ve encountered my fair share of stress since coming to Italy (which is a story for another post) but being here means the world to me and brings a happiness better expressed in photos like this. Peppe has expressed interest in getting a camera, so I’m making a point to let him get his hands on mine some more.

DSC_6900 copyDSC_6918 copyI so desperately wanted to climb this thing, but settled on living vicariously through this little guy.

DSC_6921 copyWe walked down the road in search of this festival, which we never actually found. Instead, I saw this ivy covered staircase behind a fence and smelled an adventure. Luckily, after some searching, we found a hole to access it.

Untitled_Panorama2smallIt opened up to a platform with a view of this completely empty horse track and breathtaking views of distant mountains and buildings.

DSC_6930 copyI just couldn’t get enough, the excitement of discovering something so unexpected took over. I ran to the edge of the platform, wondering what else we could find.

DSC_6936 copyTo my delight, an abandoned playground. So obviously I had to get a closer look.

DSC_6939 copy“I don’t think you can get down that way”

I just laughed and continued on, the overgrown staircase going down the opposite side was basically begging me to venture onward.

DSC_6941 copyI’d like to thank the explorers who came before us, making it easier to find a path. Explorers or maybe drug addicts or maybe both in the same?  We actually passed a few sketchy characters on our way to the swing set, totally worth it.

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DSC_6968 copyNeither of us knew anything about this place but it seemed under construction and the grass was still well groomed. It was so so so green we couldn’t resist fence-hopping for the sake of running and jumping and cartwheeling.

DSC_6972 copyWe took to the empty stands and noticed the Duomo peeking over the trees in the distance. Here, we sat and finished the wine, watching the final moments of sunset, feeling like the whole entire place was ours.

DSC_6977 copyHeading back down the way we came, I was feeling a rush of excitement and more alive than ever.  All I can think is this is everything I’ve ever wanted, this is the kind of stuff I live for.  The unexpected discovery, something that caught my eye and led to an adventure I couldn’t have imagined. It kept unfolding piece by piece and as we pushed forward each moment was that much more rewarding. I live for that feeling when my heart is racing, on the farthest edge of comfort to be rewarded with new experiences.  I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who seeks out adventure and goes forth without (or despite) fear and for the first time, I think I have finally allowed myself to do that pretty much constantly. I said before and I’ll say it again, Florence has shown me what makes me feel alive and has marked the beginning of the rest of my life.

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