The Day I Fell in Love…With a Song
It turns out that people either love Florence, Italy, and want to spend their days traipsing around the golden-and-auburn-hued city, or they want out as fast as possible. I fall into the first category; I whole-heartily adore that town.
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Back in 2001, I was in between my junior and senior year of high school, and I went on my first trip to Europe. It was one of those all-encompassing, see-15-countries-in-10-days trips. (Okay, it wasn’t that extreme, but you know what I mean.) Not only did that trip greatly influence my life (a few years later I studied abroad in England after falling becoming smitten with London, and then even more years after that, I ended up living in Italy), but it also influenced my wedding.
Needless to say, but I fell head over heels in love with Europe (and Italy in particular).
But back to 2001 and Florence.
At the time, I was certain I’d die an old maid and would never have any prospect of ever getting married. I was 17 years old, a romantic at heart, had yet to have my first kiss (don’t worry…that happened on my last night in Firenze), and was very, very much alone. But one night, while walking along the Arno river, I heard something.
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I heard something that made me fall in love hard and fast—the type of love where you have to chase after it and then brace yourself upon a wall, because the emotions just take over your body.
Sounds a bit dramatic, right? Maybe, but it’s true.
The noise I heard was music, and it sounded like a full Italian orchestra was playing. The song sounded vaguely familiar, but as a 17 year old who didn’t listen to much classical music, I couldn’t place it.
I started following the music around the little piazzas, and as the song began to climax, I distinctly remember almost running through the small town’s labyrinth, trying to find the musicians playing such sweet sounds. Despite not knowing what the song was, I literally felt like I was being drawn to it.
Then, finally, with a beating heart, I turned the corner and saw it the origin of the delightful music.
It was one, solo violinist.
The acoustics surrounding this man were astounding—it made his one instrument sound like an orchestra. I made it just in time to hear him finish playing the song, and when it was over I distinctly remember wiping a tear from my cheek.
He wasn’t asking for money, and he didn’t have any CDs for sale. He was simply playing for the love of music. Not that I blame him, when you find a sweet spot like that, you go where the music takes you. After he finished I remember feeling sad, because I still didn’t know what the song was, and it was so beautiful that I knew I needed it in my life again.
A few days later our tour took us (sadly) out of Italy and into France. I walked into a small boutique in Chamonix, France, and saw some adorable little music players. There was a pile sitting there by the register, and I was captivated that something so tiny and cute could produce music.
I started turning the little handle and listened to all of them…and then I heard it, the song I heard in Florence. I actually didn’t buy many souvenirs on that trip, but I immediately bought the little music player.
Someone once told me that Canon in D by Pachebel was “boring” and “overplayed” at weddings, and while it may be a cliche these days, I don’t have one single regret for walking down the aisle to it. Hearing it, even today, fills me with exuberant joy and excitement. To me, it’s one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard.
What a sweet story and a beautiful song. I love your unique take on this prompt and you take such great pictures too! I am also a military wife, stationed in Hawaii right now, so I am really glad I found your blog!
What an awesome story! I'm getting married in 12 days and am walking down the aisle to Canon in D! I learned to play it on the piano when I was younger and knew it had to be the song I walked down the aisle too. 🙂
This brought back so any memories for me! I did a Europe trip in high school too. Sadly, I did not fall in love with Florence then, but did when I revisited a year ago. The discovery of the music reminds me of the time I was in Pisa, complaining about something, because teenage angst, and then I heard the most beautiful operatic song coming from a security guard. Shut me up good.
Thanks for sharing.
I love this story! What a fun take on the prompt. I'm so happy you were able to find the name of the song, and you had the chance to buy the perfect souvenir.
I love this song too! I so badly wanted it played at our wedding, but our pianist wasn't able to. 🙁
Gorgeous post and I adore Florence, one of my favourite cities in Europe – now you have given me a wonderful case of wanderlust, off to investigate flight prices to Florence now x
What a beautiful story!! I too walked down the aisle to my friend playing Pachabel's Canon and every time I hear it I stop and get a little bit emotional – there's something about it that moves right through you.
I'm absolutely with you about Florence – it has a special vibe all of it's own that I utterly adore!
I too was told it was overplayed at wedding but I didn't care, I also walked down the aisle too it:) It's beautiful!
Your pictures are gorgeous. Italy is on our list of places we want to visit…I hope we can make it there soon. I haven't traveled out of the country in a while (I'm not counting the Bahamas at all!) and I have the travel bug!
Aww I love this story. 🙂