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Edward Morgan Forster, Florence – Santa Croce

Da Paolorossi

Firenze - Santa Croce

Firenze – Santa Croce

Lucy, who wanted to see Santa Croce, suggested, as a possible solution, that they should ask the way there.
“Oh, but that is the word of a craven! And no, you are not, not, not to look at your Baedeker. Give it to me; I shan’t let you carry it. We will simply drift.”
Accordingly they drifted through a series of those grey-brown streets, neither commodious nor picturesque, in which the eastern quarter of the city abounds.

[…] For one ravishing moment Italy appeared. She stood in the Square of the Annunziata and saw in the living terra-cotta those divine babies whom no cheap reproduction can ever stale. There they stood, with their shining limbs bursting from the garments of charity, and their strong white arms extended against circlets of heaven. Lucy thought she had never seen anything more beautiful; but Miss Lavish, with a shriek of dismay, dragged her forward, declaring that they were out of their path now by at least a mile.
The hour was approaching at which the continental breakfast begins, or rather ceases, to tell, and the ladies bought some hot chestnut paste out of a little shop, because it looked so typical. It tasted partly of the paper in which it was wrapped, partly of hair oil, partly of the great unknown. But it gave them strength to drift into another Piazza,large and dusty, on the farther side of which rose a black-and-white facade of surpassing ugliness. Miss Lavish spoke to it dramatically. It was Santa Croce. The adventure was over.

[…]Now she entered the church depressed and humiliated, not even able to remember whether it was built by the Franciscans or the Dominicans.
Of course, it must be a wonderful building. But how like a barn! And how very cold! Of course, it contained frescoes by Giotto, in the presence of whose tactile values she was capable of feeling what was proper.

[…]Then the pernicious charm of Italy worked on her, and, instead of acquiring information, she began to be happy.

( Edward Morgan Forster, A room with a View, 1908 )

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