My first house in Italy was in a small town called Montaione, strategically located at 40 kilometers away from Florence and about 50 kilometers from a lot touristic cities from Tuscany. Its location (it seemed to be in the middle of everything) allowed us to visit at least two new cities every weekend and after touring through the entire Tuscany, we made a habit of going once a week at the Marina di Pisa and drink our Saturday morning coffee there.
Our apartment was ridiculously huge and the rent was ridiculously low, but the most amazing thing about it was our balcony. The first year we moved there, we had an infusion of friends over and at some point we were going to the airport to drop someone and stayed around waiting for another one to land (fun, interesting days). We then used to organize an entire tour for them and because we also had jobs to attend, we used to ask them to squeeze a weekend in their visit so that we could give them the proper welcome and make them really feel and understand why we love Tuscany so much. But you know what? No matter what city we would have taken them to, or how the waves conquered the rocks of the Marina, or how the Campo Square from Siena charmed them, or any other wonder we would put on the table for their eyes to feast on, they had always come back to our apartment, went to the balcony, throw themselves on the lounge chairs and cry out: “This is a perfect view! I could never get enough of this! I could never move away from here!”. And they were right, because of that view, moving to Florence was a harder thing to do and if Florence wouldn’t have shouted that it needed us (hahahaha the vanity) I think that small town with only three thousand and six hundred people would still be our home.
But beautiful views have almost always a flaw. The first day I’ve met the view, I dropped all the bags, abandoned unpacking and I think I spent three hours on a lounge chair not allowing myself to move, to breathe, to even blink out of fear that I will discover that everything in front of me was just a dream. I did that each day for two weeks and after a while I convinced myself that the Tuscan hills in front of me won’t go anywhere so I allowed myself to move on with my life. Our dinning table was strategically placed facing the balcony door and my place was always on the chair that faced outside so I could get every detail in, even when eating and even during the winter I insisted to keep the balcony door opened while eating. I used to sit there in silence everyday, allowing my thoughts to speak to me, allowing my mind to be inspired, allowing my words to organize stories, but D, who moved here six months before me, used to say that I will get used to it and not care anymore at some point. I refused to believe him; no one can get used to that beauty and just forget about it. My relationship with the lounge chair and with the hills in front of me, watching the neighbors harvesting their grape crops and shivering the rind out of their olive trees, lasted for a long, long time, but slowly, without even noticing my chair wasn’t facing outside anymore, the door to the balcony was almost always shut, the stories I used to tell our friends while drinking wine, watching the view began to disappear slowly and I wanted nothing more than to avoid the view. What was the flaw you ask? The flaw was me.
Whenever your life is invaded with beauty every single aspect of your life must be good and on its track; if beauty senses even the slightest possibility of sadness or unfulfillment in your life it will start to hurt and its claws will make its way deep into your soul. I guess beauty asks for beauty sometimes and maybe that is why when inhaling beauty you must be really careful not to let it invade you and posses you unless you are completely willing to surrender to it, no matter the consequences.