We’ve been here a month and a half.
We don’t know where we’ll be living in another month and a half.
The truth is both Angelo and I have been having difficult nights of late.

So the mornings can be tough. Groggy from fretting and lack of dreams. But the days that follow are invariably a contrast.

Each sunrise begins with waking the kids, getting them dressed, and preparing breakfast. As soon as all their pearly whites are smelling fresh and minty it’s time to get in the car.

If it has rained in the night, the morning grass will glisten with so many tears, each reflecting a shard of blinding copper light.  Deer folk tread softly, gently kissing it better with their velveteen muzzles. The black tips of a hare’s ears dart across the fields like loosened arrows, and feathered friends assemble dutifully in choir, their song, the soundtrack to yet another unfolding adventure.

As we roll, stumble and trot along the winding road, the hills will steam, exhaling flumes of mist, which rise from the crests reaching yearningly towards their nimbus kin.

With trepidation, we join the caravan of motorists whose characteristics take on mythological forms, the transit van is a minotaur on wheels, followed nimbly by the impish 500. A troll-like panda tails behind. The journey is as treacherous as it is pleasing as we snake in and out of shadows cast by celestial cotton wool.

It concludes with the surrendering of offspring. They are led through iron gates. Handed over to the elders who will impart their knowledge.

Releasing the two of us to continue our descent, deeper until we reach the beating heart of a fairytale city.
As we approach, we are met with a perfect auburn skyline spreading uninterrupted across the horizon, save of course, for an enormous terracotta breast heaving unashamedly skyward. An architectural ode to Santa Maria del Fiore.

Could there be a more fitting symbol for a city with so much love to give?