Strolling Mona Lisa’s Florence

by Stefania Bufano

Prayers and Piazzas

This time last year I found myself waking up in Florence — strange for a Southern California resident — the chimes of the Duomo’s bells drifting through my open window. For me, every morning in Italy feels full of opportunity and ripe with undiscovered memories. But this particular morning promised a once-in-a-lifetime gift. On a whim, I had run away to Florence to walk in the footsteps of Mona Lisa with Dianne Hales, the author who brought the iconic donna (woman) to life for me in the acclaimed book MONA LISA: A Life Discovered.

A gentle rainstorm the day before had washed the city clean, and this jewel of the Renaissance sparkled under the crystal blue sky that October morning. Walking through the cobblestone streets which smell of leather, I am humbled to think about how many other rock stars of history have wandered this same path. Evidence of this is…

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