Going to Florence? Bring Your Smelling Salts!

Let's Go to Italy Together!Florence is a treasure trove of classic art, a must destination for art lovers and students. In droves, visitors flock to the Uffizi, the Duomo, Piazza della Signoria, Santa Croce, the Bargello…

Practically speechless, they shuffle through in awe of the artistic masterpieces. Next, the Accademia and David…next, more museums, churches, palazziwhew!

Let's Go to Italy Together!Does Your Heart Skip a Beat in Florence?

Everywhere you go in Florence, there is magnificent art. No doubt, it can be breathtaking and overwhelming. For some, it literally is!

Feeling a bit light-headed, faint or dizzy? You’re not alone. It could be the heat, the crowds, exhaustion or jet lag. But even after sitting down or drinking some water, the symptoms may persist. Ah, you may be experiencing Stendhal Syndrome. What syndrome?!?

Stendhal Syndrome was named after famous 19th-century French author Henri-Marie Beyle known by his pen name, Stendhal. While visiting Florence in 1817, Stendhal described his experience:

“As I emerged from the porch of Santa Croce, I was seized with a fierce palpitation of the heart; the wellspring of life was dried up within me, and I walked in constant fear of falling to the ground.”

Let's Go to Italy Together! I Think I May Swoon!!

However, it wasn’t until the 1970’s when Italian psychologist, Graziella Magherini, observed over 100 cases with similar symptoms that the condition resulting from of an over dose or overexposure to beautiful art was actually called Stendhal Syndrome.  Hence, Florence is not only the birthplace of the Renaissance, but of Stendhal or Florence Syndrome.

Although it’s debated as to whether it’s psychosomatic, Stendhal Syndrome or hyperkulteremia has real symptoms including rapid heartbeat, fainting, dizziness, even hallucinations! Real or not, local hospital staffs are accustomed to treating tourists experiencing these symptoms.

Recently Italian scientists decided to use hi-tech instruments to see if they could actually monitor and measure tourists’ reactions. I‘m not sure of the results but I am sure that I don’t need scientific proof to know that my heart beats faster when I see David. Doesn’t everyone’s?Photos by Victoria De MaioLet's Go to Italy Together!

More Florence! Read about…

The San Lorenzo Complex

Exploring the Oltrarno Neighborhood in Florence

The Central Market of Florence

Let's Go to Italy Together!Would you love to visit Florence? Well, I would love to take YOU there next fall!

Let’s DiZcover Tuscany’s Treasures…Together

September 23, October 2, 2016

Let's Go to Italy Together!Stendhal Syndrome Reference: Wikipedia, The Telegraph UK, Huff Post Arts

About PostcardZ from Victoria

Wish you were here! I love sharing my passion for travel and insights I've learned along the way. Enjoy my travel tips and inspiration with a lighthearted twist! Join me as we create a forum for sharing experiences and information! Enjoy my newly published book, "Victoria's Travel TipZ Italian Style!" and then let's go to Italy together!
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6 Responses to Going to Florence? Bring Your Smelling Salts!

  1. Even though seeing “David” was something we had dreamt of…believe it or not…on our way through the Academia, leading up to David we encountered “The Prisioners”…they were awesome, awesome! Had not expected that at all!

    • Oh, I know – breathtaking to say the least! Leaves you positively speechless!

      • Seeing David was a bit anti-climatic after those…sorry to say…still wonderful and loved it…but if I could borrow even one of the Prisoners I would be in heaven! I really, really loved them! Can you tell?

      • Ciao amica!
        Yes, I can tell and I certainly understand! BUt…
        David, anti-climatic, hmmm….can’t agree there! Of course, like so many of us since you’ve seen images of him many many times so it’s not a “surprise” – although my I’m breathless every time I see him – that Michelangelo created such perfection from an imperfect piece of marble before he was 30 years old… The Prisoners, if you’ve never seen them, are more of a surprise and there is (for me) such a different emotional response as they struggle to emerge – incredibly moving…and then there’s Bernini in Rome…whew!

      • I think what I mean about seeing David was that even though it was our first “in-person” encounter, we have been seeing images for years…of course the carving of the marble is absolutely amazing (how did he ever accomplish that?) and we were in awe of the beauty of the sculpture. The “Prisoners” were absolutely something new and they felt very “modern” to us. Wonder what they would have looked like if they were completed??? Interesting thought…perhaps they have more impact this way? We still have a few Bernini left to see in Rome…thinking 3 weeks is not long enough at all! But…it will simply have to do!

      • I understand – what is interesting is that I read or was told on a guided tour (not sure which) that they were intentionally “not finished” and were symbolic of his/man’s struggle to find reconciliation with his faith – a description I find very compelling…
        You’ve been to the Borghese in Rome, si? A MUST for Berninis….
        Do you leave soon?

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