While writing yesterday's entry on Dante's church I was constantly reminded of the beautiful classical piece that played at the church. I visited Santa Margherita de' Cerchi many times during my month stay in Florence in 2001 and heard this melody so often that I had it playing in my head all the time. It became sort of my Florence soundtrack. On one of my visits to the church I met the parish priest and asked him for the title of the melody. He told me the name and mentioned that he had a cassette of classical music in his other parish that he was selling to raise funds for the upkeep of both churches. I bought the cassette and offered to make a donation at Dante's church on my next visit.
The melody that I love so much is the Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana, an opera in one act by Pietro Mascagni. The Intermezzo is a beautiful instrumental piece that reminds me of Italy and I like to listen to it while looking through my pictures and remembering slices of Italian life to which I was witness.
There are several versions of this piece on YouTube but this is my favorite, played by the Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna conducted by the great maestro Riccardo Muti.