Palazzo Vecchio is a sacred place in my personal world. The epicenter of Florentine life for 700 years, it remains the political and cultural hub of the city. Beneath its grounds lie the ruins of Roman Florence, its amphitheater and evidence of life dating back to the Stone Age.
The first time I beheld Palazzo Vecchio I was 15 years old. At the time, I was only beginning to understand its historical significance. I can remember the Piazza being empty and eerily silent, not the active tourist destination it is today. Little did I know that many years later it would be the community center of my life and that within its walls I would one day be awarded my dual citizenship. Fate knew it.
I have been spiritually drawn to this place, not just over the years, but continuously, in my daily life. When taking a walk, even before I enter the piazza, I become taken with feelings of energy, strength, awe, tranquility, wholeness and roots.
I have read about the concept of a "vortex", and this perhaps describes the energy that grabs me in this spot, filling me with a spiritual lightness. Could it be the earth's kinetic energy that oozes from below? Is it the result of centuries of life, death, grandeur and history that emanate from its ramparts? Or is it the result of the voyage I have taken
to find a sacred, natural spot where I encounter an energy so much larger than myself?