Yes, indeed the title is wrong: there is no Stock-dalm syndrome, but instead two very distinct and known alternatives, the Stockholm and the Stendhal syndrome. Yet, referring to Florence, I believe there is a funny, accurate and indeed charming connection. The Stockholm syndrome is a ‘capture bounding’ psychological syndrome that takes place in extraordinary situations were a hostage or kidnapped expresses sympathy and empathy towards his own kidnapper. Thus, he is raptured yet he feels unique, enchanted, respected, taken care… which leads the other syndrome, the Stendhal one. Interestingly, this very syndrome was first recognized in Florence, just in front of the Santa Croce basilica, thus known also as the Florence Syndrome. The effects of the syndrome are a sense of overwhelming, thus almost a shock before true and sublime Beauty.
There is a deep connection between becoming raptured from the poetry of Beauty, and thus becoming overwhelmed, followed by a deep in ecstasy and finally forever in love. By walking within the warm streets of the Centro, caressing the stone walls that surround you, listening to tender sounds from the open windows, smelling the subtle perfumes of the local diners, you become indeed taken away, somewhat kidnapped of your very senses, and in this kidnapping one becomes absorbed in some indefinable contemplation of perfection. It is a connection of so many impressions, so many tasteful factors. The beer sipped gently by the last tired rays of the sunset next to he river Arno, the indescribable smile of a college student that walks passed you, the roar of a moped that zig-zags dangerously within the traffic as a wasp within a green field… suddenly all these seem to excess, collide in a unique game of colours and icons. You fall in love; indeed there are no other words to describe it. You recognise you are in the right place, in the right time, in the necessary circumstance of existence. You recognize this evening, this instant, this mood is all you can ask for, is all you really need… all the rest is fragile, distant, relative… but this moment, this very moment is unique. The only question thus is how to make it last, how to be swept away even further, raptured and thus for ever in love.