Just back from a trip to Venice and Florence and not missing these glorious Renaissance cities as much as I expected.
When I last visited ten years ago, I was living on Waterside and working in Southampton. I looked at the historic architecture preserved for 500 years or more, the human scale of the buildings dominated by the huge church edifice, and felt envious that I didn’t live somewhere like that. Returning to Southampton, for all its qualities, left me yearning to live in Florence or Venice.
This time those two cities were every bit as beautiful but returning to Winchester, where I now live and work, was very different. Far from feeling withdrawal symptoms, I realised my city is just as beautiful and wonderful to be in as a great Italian renaissance city.
The narrow streets, the historic buildings, the human scale, and the big architectural wonder of Winchester Cathedral dominating everything conjure exactly the same feelings in me as Venice or Florence. I still enjoy seeing other historic cities but I no longer long to live there.
All Winchester lacks is Italian weather and Michelangelo.