By Laura Thompson – Painter

Florence… for centuries the home of artists. Why? For so many reasons Florence inspires artists of both the past and present. Florence is unlike any other city in the world. laura thompsonIt is not an exaggeration to say, it is magical. To follow in the footsteps of where old masters once walked, the legacy of their works in the museums, churches and galleries, the architecture and sculptures of every street is just the beginning…there is also the diversity of the city both with the locals and the visitors who come from every corner of the world and here, more than any other place we know, invites conversation in the piazzas, the restaurants and even in line at the markets.  Everyone has a story to share and that is essentially what an artist is…a story-teller.

Here we enjoy a lifestyle that celebrates the slowness of living, the possibility of learning about different cultures, the beauty of our surroundings, the pleasure in the smallest things such as a glass of wine with good friends, the bustle of a market, the music in the streets, a great cheese or pasta.

laura thompson 3Sitting in the piazza where we often sketch, we notice that the old people hold hands, the children don’t walk-they dance, the teenagers talk excitedly and do not just look at cell phones, the tourists are from every country, the dogs are happy. Perhaps most importantly, everyone is together. Unlike many places in the world we do not separate groups based on socio-economic class or age. Here, every meal and every event includes everyone and often even their pets. At a dinner you may find a famous fashion designer, a movie star, your postman, the chef, a writer, an artist, children and babies, and those over 90! Everyone is welcome and everyone learns from the stories and adventures of everyone else. This celebration of life at every turn is what first drew us to Florence as artists and why we now call it “home”.

About the authors:

Laura Thompson (painter) and her husband Frank Rekrut (sculptor) began their careers in the beautiful Niagara region of Ontario. In 2010 they moved to Florence, Italy where they now have a studio in the historic center of Florence where they paint, sculpt and teach.