Heavy sounds of bass and piano filled the swanky dining room of Golden View Open Bar as we entered for late-night cocktails and tiramisu. Abstract art work hung from the walls and every seat in the house had a perfect view of Fiume Arno. The windows were open and the breeze lifted in the sounds of people bustling over the Ponte Vecchio.
Beautiful Italian women lounged at the bar, while large groups of friends sat around tables, pouring wine and laughing at jokes I wished I understood (I’m quickly finding humor is usually the first thing lost in translation) – and I was taken back to my first trip to Italy.
Four summers ago I came here with my dad and ate at this same bar. I could even pick out the table where we sat. I remember wondering if I would ever come back and imagined if I lived in Florence this would be my favorite spot.
In four years, Golden View Open Bar is still there above the Fiume Arno, with the same abstract paintings, same great view and ambience. Open Bar and the city remained widely unchanged but after four years I felt as though I was experiencing Florence for the first time.
Re-visiting a foreign town, thousands of miles away from my home is an interesting experience. Similar to the feeling of visiting an old friend you have not seen in ages, you find yourself reminiscing about the past that brought you together and discovering the new circumstances bringing you back together.
My new friends sat around the table, laughing, soaking in the atmostphere for the first and second times. Amy and I quickly realized we had been to Open Bar four years ago; perhaps our time in Florence overlapped. The more things change, the more they stay the same and my new comrades are constantly reminding me how familiar a foreign land can feel.