The Florentine is hunting for a new home and I’ve been trying all day not to write about it. But our search for an office keeps sneaking into my article as if this page were the rented space we’re looking for. So, after hours of wrestling with what I shouldn’t yet share, I’ve decided to give in to the growing pains and tell you the story.
This newspaper is made by a group of people who have almost nothing else in common. Still, we love each other deeply, the way only dramatically diverse people can. But even fondness needs a sizeable field for growing. With three companies co-existing in an ‘open space’ that was originally built for the three musketeers, sooner or later, we knew we’d have to find another press room.
In Italy, however, moving is not a pick-up, pack-up event—it’s a full-fledge birthing process. The first trimester of our ‘move’ was purely philosophical. When you work in what feels like the waiting room of an ADD doctor, it’s easy to entertain the idea of a quiet corner where one can ponder the importance of commas. By month four, as the fantasy threatened to crystallize into reality, we all scrambled to find reasons to stay in San Frediano: Who will feed us if we move away? Who will be our patron saint? Locked up in separate rooms, we’ll all die of loneliness for sure. What an utter ode to boredom! Things are fine right here where we are, insomma. When all is said and done, elbow room isn’t everything.
But as nine cramped desk-spots suddenly turned to ten, it became time to come to terms with our options. We could either pump more oxygen in, or we could really move out. Thus began the practical quest to find a new treehouse for the Lost Boys. Antonio and Elia dressed like private agents and went to talk to real estate people, who showed them flats and storefrontsall over Florence. With each return to the mother-ship, I hounded the harried pair with the likes of ‘How did you like it?’
Most times, all I got was a shrug and a half-hearted ‘insomma’. Used in this context, it meant that the place they’d seen had too few rooms and not enough windows—or a good neighbourhood, but a bad landlord, unbelievable frescos but unaffordable prices, or decent rent but poor renovation. Not too bad—but not quite the right fit, in sum’.