• Max Peterson

Bonus Blog Post! The Caffé Donnini Couple

All travelers are welcome here, all tourists are welcome here, and all people are welcome here, in Florence, Italy, no matter the reason for the visit, the story all people share is that we are all here to satisfy a desire to see, a desire to admire, and a desire to experience. My travel writing class has allowed me an opportunity to see, to admire, and to experience Florence in an academic setting where I can gather and record my thoughts on these through not only my class assignments but this blog as well. The following is a short story that I wrote after being sent out into the streets to write about a person or people that I imagined had a story to share. Although somewhat romanticized and contextualized, I felt this couple I found displayed the idea of sharing our moments with one another in this city accurately.

The Caffé Donnini Couple

He pulled on his turtleneck as though the extra inch of space between his skin and the cotton material would open his airways enough to lessen the nerves of the situation he had invited himself into. The woman across from him reached for her coffee with the swiftest and sweetest notion and settled just beside the cup and the plate beneath it. The man gazed at her hand for what seemed to prolong into minutes, when it was actually a 15 second moment in which he made the decision to reach for her hand. It fell gently on top of hers, and the two were joined across the small table that separated their bodies. His gaze reached that of hers in a moment’s notice and a soft smile filled her face, she didn’t blush, it seemed as though they had shared this moment before, at another place or another time, but the man’s nervousness and hesitancy to make the reach for her grasp showed that it was always done with intent, never out of habit.

He grinned with set of full teeth, displaying his awkward charm and his confidence that this was the correct choice, and with his other hand he shook his sleeve lower from his wrist so that he could reach for his own coffee, and so that they could continue about their meal with a subtle but more intimate interaction. She laughed and mouthed a quirky and snarky response. He chuckled and continued to sip on his drink, allowing her the satisfaction of knowing it made him nervous yet content. They gazed at the square that lay just beyond the window, full of travelers much like their selves, she pointed and asked what another couple's story may be. He reached for his chin and quizzically stroked it between his index finger and thumb, and began to think of an elaborate story much like their own to establish for the two passing by. A story he knew would bring the soft smile he had seen moments ago to that of a grin full of teeth and eyes joyful as ever.

We are all travelers, tourists, and people, experiencing this city in shared moments, even if we do not realize it.

"Side by side with your loved one, You'll find enchantment here. The night will weave its magic spell, When the one you love is near."

- Peggy Lee / Bella Notte

I think Italy is turning me into a romantic- who knew?

The Caffé Donnini in Florence, Italy

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