DY: In Just a Few Words (#108)
It really is a small world.
There are a number of famous squares in Florence, Italy - none more so than the Piazza di Santa Croce. Its centerpiece is the Basilica of Santa Croce, a large and historic Catholic house of worship.
Inside the Basilica are the final resting places of some of the most famous Italian scholars and thinkers of the Renaissance. Does the name Michelangelo ring a bell? Or how about Galileo? Maybe Machiavelli? In a single Basilica is probably the greatest assemblage of brain power to be found anywhere. Construction started in 1294 and was finished in 1442, when it was consecrated by Pope Eugene IV. Lots of history for sure.
Thus it was that on one of our visits to Florence that Karen and I found ourselves strolling through the Piazza di Santa Croce on a weekend morning when she announced I should keep my eye out for a ladies room for her. As we got closer to the Basilica, I had a thought. Why don’t you go inside and see if there is somebody you can ask??
What’s a Basilica without a gift shop, right? Behind the counter in a monk’s regalia was just the person we could ask. Speaking loudly, clearly and slowly Karen said, I’m looking for a restroom. I thought perhaps you might be able to direct me. Do you speak any English?
Gathering himself and proud of what he was about to say, came these words: Sure, I speak English. I’m from Buffalo. Pointing, he continued, Go to the back of the Basilica and you will find a hallway. About halfway down and on your right is a very dimly lit restroom. It isn’t used often, but it should do. If Karen had to guess, she would have thought perhaps 400 years ago was the last time anyone set foot in that bathroom. But, it still worked. Any port in a storm....
And, that’s the story of how a monk from Buffalo brightened the day for two tourists from Cleveland - thousands of miles from home for all of them. Were it not for that nice monk, Karen might still be searching for a ladies room.
If you see somebody looking lost in your city, they’re probably searching for a restroom. Point them in the right direction. They’ll thank you forever.
DY: In Just a Few Words is a blog that comes out when something needs to be said or every Tuesday - whichever comes first. Davis Young is a communications professional who adds 50+ years of experience and perspective to issues of the day. His emphasis in DY: In Just a Few Words will be humor (a touch of sarcasm here, a pinch of facetiousness there...). Once in a while, he will touch on something a bit more serious - but hopefully not too deep or depressing.
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