by Melinda Gallo

This morning when I left the house for my run, I looked up at the dim, but clear, sky and saw the sun peeking from behind a cloud in the distance. Since we still havenít set our clocks back, the sunrise is quite late. I peered at the gold outline around the tops of the clouds in the East.

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Living in Florence :: Blocks of marble from Massa

On my walk up the viale (large avenue) to Piazzale Michelangiolo this morning, I was happy to see more leaves of all different colors: brown, yellow, orange, and even red. I love seeing autumn at its peak. While I hiked up the viale, cars and motorini (scooters) passed me by in both directions and a few leaves fell from the trees quietly. I kicked up some of the leaves on the path even though the sidewalk was rather tidy.

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On the day that The Florentine publishes my ďExpats in FlorenceĒ article, I send the next one to the editors for the upcoming issue. I recently realized that todayís article is the thirtieth one published about an expat in Florence. It seems almost unbelievable to me since I feel like Iím just getting started. Since Florence is home to thousands of expats from around the world, I feel that I have so many more expats to meet and interview. I always love hearing how their lives have unfolded and led them to Florence. Even though we share the same city, our stories are always different.

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Living in Florence :: Sunday stroll to catch the sunset

Early this evening, Alessandro and I went out for a walk. I usually enjoy strolling the streets by myself so I can stop and take photos when I want, but being with someone else, especially my marito (husband) adds something to the experience for me. Because the streets were crowded with people on their Sunday walks, we initially decided to head away from the negozi (shops), and head toward Piazza della Signoria.

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Living in Florence :: A grey morning

This morning I had to walk to an appointment near Piazza Tasso. I was running a little late, but I didnít forget to bring my camera along with me. I had been wanting to take a few pictures from that part of town, but I can never plan what inspires me. After my appointment, I strolled along the Arno. With the grey sky above, I enjoyed my walk along the fiume (river), looking for something to take a photo of.

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When I was out this morning, I couldnít keep my eyes off of the Arno. I had seen the Adige in Verona last week and found it quite beautiful, but for me it didnít have the same charm that the Arno holds. Aesthetically, one would probably choose the Adige over the Arno. The clear, rushing water in the fiume (river) is enchanting. However, the beauty of the Arno lies not in its appearance, but in its personality.

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Living in Florence :: A few minutes to meander

I havenít had the time to just walk around Florence lately to see what changes have been occurring. Today, with only a half hour before lunch, I decided to walk along the Arno to take in my beloved city. Since autumn is one of my favorite seasons, I wanted to see how it has been progressing in Florence. I hadnít noticed many leaves on the trees turning color or leaves on the ground, although in the centro (city center) there are so few trees. Across the fiume (river), the trees still look rather green with all their leaves intact.

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Living in Florence :: Day trip to Verona

For my birthday today, we decided to go to Verona for the day. Even though the weather reports for Verona had announced rain, I was determined to go no matter what. In Florence, we had a terrible storm last night, so when we woke up to clear skies, I thought we could get lucky. And we were. When we arrived in Verona, we were greeted with blue skies and a few dark, grey clouds lingering above us. The threat of rain was present, but not a drop fell.

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Itís the first of October and fall is certainly in the air. The temperatures have cooled down, the sun is weaker, more clouds float across the sky, and the days end earlier. Nevertheless, I love the fall. Just like I love the spring. For me, these are the two active seasons of the year. Itís probably not by chance that in American English, the two seasons are also verbs.

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I realized only this morning why I am slow to start my week when Monday arrives. Iím usually motivated Sunday to get the week going, but I wake up and donít feel motivated to go out. Besides the hairdressers being closed all day, many of the shops around town are also closed in the morning. Itís as if the city is still slumbering until well after lunch. I thought I was just having Monday blues, but I think now that it has to do with the city not being completely awake yet.

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Living in Florence :: 8th edition of Corri la Vita

At 9:30am, thousands of people met in Piazza della Signoria for the 8th edition of Corri la Vita. When we began the passeggiata (walk), we were barely moving. I met up with friends, but after ten minutes they left because we were going so slow. It took at least 10 minutes to walk to Ponte Vecchio with the large crowds and people walking with bambini (babies) in passeggini (strollers) and cani (dogs).

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Living in Florence :: A late sunset

This evening as the sun was setting, I ran outside to Ponte alle Grazie to take a few shots of the tramonto (sunset). I wish I had my camera on the first night we returned because the sky was an incredible shade of pink and orange. I was happy to catch tonightís tramonto because I hadnít had time since I returned to see it.

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Even if the actual center of the city is the Abbondanza statue in Piazza Repubblica, my sense was that the Duomo was more at the center of the city. Today, however, while I was standing on the Ponte Vecchio, I felt that the center might just be this ponte (bridge) because it connects the two halves of the city: the intellectual side with the artistic side.

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Living in Florence :: A trip to Miami Beach

Alessandro and I flew to Miami last Tuesday. We had enjoyed our trip to Miami Beach so much last year that we returned this year. After enjoying a quiet August in Florence, we took off before everything gets back to normal. We returned this afternoon to a sunny and warm Florence, which surprised me since I read that it had rained. While we were in the taxi coming home, I breathed in my city and stared out at the buildings, and felt joyful to be home.

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All my friends know that Sundays are sacred to me. They know that I save my Sundays for my family: my suoceri (in-laws) and my marito (husband). I am lucky to have such a great relationship with my suoceri; I'd never miss a lunch with them. For me, Sundays with my suoceri are much more than just sharing a wonderful lunch, it's also a time for us to connect and talk about the days since we last met up.

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