The short story 'Cecilia Awakened' by Tessa Hadley represents the idea of changes which occur at the moment between idealistic past and how the present is.
According to the plot, the family (mother, father and their fifteen-year-old daughter Cecilia) from the UK was visiting Florence during their summer vacation. They loved the arts, they enjoyed walking to museums. That time was different. It is noticeable that during all days of being there Cecilia was in tension.
Cecilia realized that local people don't like them. This dislike may be directed to British tourists or tourists in general). Local people communicate with them but they do it because it is their business. It spoilt for Cecilia the atmosphere of the beautiful Italian province.
In the introduction, the author described the attitude of this family toward social life. They are introverts, they prefer to stay home, their circle of communication is restricted. The climax of the story, the moment of realizing the reality, reflected the controversy between the inner and external life of the person.
Looking back at the middle of the story, we can see that Cecilia exaggerated her hostile attitude toward people. There are no reasons for local people to have a special, warm feeling for tourists, they could intrude somebody's privacy, they have different customs.
Some readers commenting on this story made remarks about a not completed ending. The narration was interrupted without precisely written conclusion. Perhaps the writer finished the story without summarizing the main idea deliberately. The right to interpret the story left readers with mixed feelings.
Here is the link to the text of the story: