The Stendhal Syndrome

Today there is no yoga pose, only the beauty of #Florence that speaks for itself. 

However, I have a little anecdote to tell you. I don’t know if you have even heard of the Stendhal Syndrome, also known as the Florence Syndrome. This is defined as a psychophysical state that includes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, confusion and even hallucinations that occurs when someone is experiencing great personal significance, sense of meaning, or exposed to a particularly sublime artwork. But why Stendhal Syndrome?

The “disorder” is named after the 19th-century French author Stendhal (a male pseudonym, since she was actually a woman), who described her experience of this sensation during her visit to Florence in 1817. In her book “Naples and Florence: A Journey from Milan to Reggio” she described her visit to the Basilica of Santa Croce (that you see in the background) and she wrote these words: “I was in a sort of ecstasy, from the idea of being in Florence, close to the great men whose tombs I had seen. Absorbed in the contemplation of sublime beauty … I reached the point where one encounters celestial sensations … Everything spoke so vividly to my soul. Ah, if I could only forget. I had palpitations of the heart, what in Berlin they call ‘nerves’. Life was drained from me. I walked with the fear of falling”.

In fact, in the Basilica one can find the graves of Machiavelli, Foscolo, Galileo, Michelangelo, many protagonists of the Italian Risorgimento, Rossini, Gentile, Fermi and many other great men of the past. Moreover, one can also find Giotto’s frescos, Cimabue’s famous Crucifix and other incredible works of Art. 

I must say, I almost felt the same. I had to go on my knees several times, to honor these men thanks to whom “we know what we know and we are what we are” cit. 

With this picture, I would like to invite you to think of the great men (famous or not famous) to which you are grateful for, and to those moments in life when you experience the overwhelming sensation of Sublime. 


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