La Paglietta: A Trip to Florence in Rilke’s Company.

 

“If only it were possible for us to see farther than our knowledge reaches, and even a little beyond the outworks of our presentiment, perhaps we would bear our sadnesses with greater trust than we have in our joys.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke

In Florence, it is impossible not to rejoice, and at the same time feel candidly defeated by how little I knew of the place! Every single alley and square brought to light many things to discover. The trip was a delightful adventure. No wonder why everyone loves the place! The capital of Tuscany, eminent for its historical importance, it was the ambiguous setting of the lives of many men; Dante Alighieri, Filippo Brunelleschi, and Michelangelo Buonarotti, along with many others, are just a few masters that we all know of.

This past Saturday, I had Elegie Duinesi at my side, a collection of lyrics written by the Bohemian-Austrian poet named Rainer Maria Rilke. After having read a couple of verses,  I admit I did had difficulty understanding what was being expressed in his writing. Yet, the perceived meaning of his work could not help but become uplifted to another level of comprehension by the warm atmosphere of that day. Little did I know, Rilke had also lived in various parts of Italy. He made Florence his “home” for little more than a month, writing a diary of his own stay called: the Diario Fiorentino, a diary written for his beloved.

During the quick visit to Florence, I met a dear friend of mine that I had not seen for more than a year. It was so much fun. It felt as if we had never lost sight of one another; we chatted with the same tenacity of spring birds. Like little children, we boasted the silliness of our ways, eating non-stop all the food we put our hands on.  ❤

“But there is much beauty here, because there is much beauty everywhere.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke

La Pagliette

That same day I would found myself attracted to a shop, my attention drawn in by a straw hat called the Pagliette. The Pagliette, is an important accessory that is part of Italy’s heritage. It is said that it is a symbol of Tuscany’s important straw industry dating back to the 1600s. Logic would have refrained me from buying such a hat, but when the sales clerk brought up the names of Renoir, and Manet to bribe me, I could not help but buy it. A woman needs to spoil herself, and only with the best of things. It is so funny though so many people stopped me throughout the trip to ask me about this hat. Some pointed out it was too big for my head. True. Others told me it was for men. That is also true. It moved around, along with each of my head movements, and it indeed look too big. Not a problem. I wore it anyways, and could not help but feel oddly hip. I will buy a simple black dress to go along with it when I will go to Monte Carlo.

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