Several years ago we spent a week in Florence.  I am no world traveler, but my daughter was spending a semester there and we couldn’t bear to not see her for four months.  Beside the obvious, the wonderful food, the fashion, the beauty and architecture, there are a couple of things that really struck me, observations made and, hopefully, lessons learned. 

People stroll.  After spending the day in New York City yesterday, I was once again reminded of the ‘pace of Florence’.  There was no rushing down the street, no quickened steps, no frantic hurrying.  People walk places and they stroll along.  They get where they need to go, but they seem to enjoy the journey as well as the destination.

This was even true of the traffic.  I remember seeing a man stop and get out of his car on a busy street.  No one tried to go around him, no honking of horns, no ‘interesting’ words were shouted out.  People waited and when he returned from looking under his hood, or whatever he was doing, traffic resumed.  Not so in the NY City, not so!

There was no coffee-to-go.  There were no paper or plastic cups available at the cafes.  If you were going to have coffee, you sat and had coffee.  You didn’t grab it on the run.

And lastly, when you went to a restaurant, you didn’t get the check until you asked for it.  You could sit for hours if you so chose and no one would ask you to leave or give you a ‘look’ even if there were others waiting for a table. 

That would never happen here….we are much too busy, we spend our time much more efficiently, don’t we?  We need to rush down the street with a cup of coffee in hand.  We have no patience for traffic slow-downs or people who eat their meals leisurely.  We have things to do, places to go, people to see……

I think about Jesus and how he lived, and I wonder…..was Jesus Italian?