by Melinda Gallo

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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).

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

While most of my photos of Florence exclude people, my life here certainly does not. On a walk the other day, I stood up at the Piazzale Michelangiolo and looked down on my beloved city. I can certainly appreciate its beauty and try to capture it in a photo, but I canít share the true feelings I have for the city and its inhabitants. The city is filled with beauty: palazzi (buildings), chiese (churches), piazze, and monuments. I believe that I would still find the city beautiful because of the energy it conveys.

Read More

On my walk yesterday, I strolled through Piazza del Carmine and saw that they had just repainted one of my favorite palazzi (buildings). I was disappointed that they had painted it because I loved the pastel-colored cracked paint of the facciata (faÁade). Every time I found myself in the piazza, I would stop to admire it. I tried to find a picture I had taken of it last year, but I couldnít find it.

Read More

Living in Florence :: Autumn is coming

Summer seems to be incredibly long since a few shops are still closed. Because many tour groups are still visiting the main attractions in town, I ventured farther out to take in my city under the clear blue skies and warm, no longer hot, sun. I strolled down a few shady one-way backstreets with narrow sidewalks toward Piazza Santa Trinita.

Read More

Living in Florence :: Capturing different facets of Florence

Today I decided to go take a few photos of my beloved city. I havenít taken any this week, but felt in the mood to do so today. With clear blue skies and some clouds drifting by, the conditions for me were perfect. Right before lunch, I headed down the Arno away from the Ponte Vecchio. I crossed Ponte alle Grazie and walked past Piazza Demidoff. A few people were heading up to Piazzale Michelangiolo by taking the stairs on the other side of the wall in San NiccolÚ, but I followed the clouds to Piazza Poggi where I thought I could take a few photos of Florence.

Read More

After a quiet week in Florence with many of its residents away on vacation, fewer cars in the streets, shutters tightly shut, empty parking spaces, and many negozi (shops) around town closed. Today many of the negozi reopened and I couldnít wait to see some of the commercianti (merchants) with whom Iíve become friends. A few of them I havenít seen in over two weeks.

Read More

Living in Florence :: Summer sunset

I love how going out to take photos is always an adventure. I didnít leave our apartment until an hour before the sun set. I kept an eye on the light outside to make sure I didnít leave the house too late. At times, dark clouds hovered above hindering the sun from shining. I thought that it would possibly rain, but fortunately it didnít. I ventured out anyway hoping the few clouds I did see were only passeggere (passing by). To my good fortune, they were. The city has been a true pleasure to walk around this week since it has been relatively quiet. With fewer locals around, the traffic has decreased while the number of tourists has increased.

Read More

Last month, American film distribution company Focus Features contacted me to see if Iíd be interested in contributing to their website by writing about five movies that depict life in Italy. With their upcoming movie ďThe AmericanĒ set in Umbria, they asked a few American expat bloggers about Italian life. I was honored to have been asked, and jumped at the opportunity.

Read More

Living in Florence :: Enjoying a day of sun

After spending an entire day at the mare (seaside) in the rain yesterday, I couldnít wait to walk around Florence this morning under the clear, blue sky. We were cold and wet most of the day yesterday and saw the sun for about half an hour while we visited friends near Viareggio. So today I made a point of enjoying a day of sun while we still have some since our weather has been a bit iffy lately. Instead of the usual scorching heat we usually have in August, weíve enjoyed mostly cool days with some intermittent rain.

Read More