by Melinda Gallo

For the second Saturday in a row, the weather is a bit cooler thanks to sparse clouds and refreshing winds. Fortunately for me, it has allowed me to go for a longer run along the Arno. The weekends are always more pleasant for me anyway because of the lower number of cars and motorini (scooters) whizzing next to me. Early in the morning there are generally fewer people walking, so itís even easier to navigate the cobblestone marciapiede (sidewalk). The cooler weather also allows me to run farther because the heavy, humid air tires me out and makes it difficult for me to run farther.

Read More

On my walk this morning down lungarno (the street along the Arno), I crossed paths with a few people walking toward the centro (center of the city) with their macchine fotografiche (cameras) dangling around their necks or tightly held in their hands. I hope they take a few amazing foto (photos) that they can cherish when they return home. Generally people tend to visit Florence for a short period of time and I always wonder if theyíll stick to the main attractions or venture out and let the beauty of the city inspire them. Even after living here for many years, I still continue to discover more even when Iím not out visiting things specifically, so I wish them the same on their journeys here.

Read More

Today I went to a small restaurant near my apartment to have lunch by myself. Itís not something I do often, but I enjoy it greatly. Iím never really alone since I always have with me a book, a notebook, and a pen. I started out by reading my book while I waited for my lunch to arrive, but after a few pages I put it down. The writer in me craved for some time to write while my mind was quiet and there werenít any distractions like work, phone, people, or email.

Read More

After many cool and rainy days this summer, the heat has arrived and bought with it high humidity. Being from California, I love the seasons and welcome the hot weather. However, it does take some getting used to because it can be a little overwhelming at the beginning. When we have time and want to cool off, we either go to the montagne (mountains) or to the mare (seaside), but if we don't have that much time, we try to escape the city if just for a few hours.

Read More

Each time I get to use my Amici degli Uffizi card, I feel so fortunate. I had been wanting to visit the Bargello National Museum again because it has been a while since I popped in for a visit. It makes me so happy to walk a few minutes from our apartment and enter my favorite museo (museum). I stroll by it quite often and always peer in the tall glass windows to take a peek at the courtyard and statues.

Read More

On the mornings when I donít go for a run along the Arno, I enjoy taking the time to take a long walk up to Piazzale Michelangiolo. When I woke up this morning, I couldnít wait to go for a walk. The clear blue sky and cool air seemed to be calling to me. I headed out the door and crossed Ponte alle Grazie. I walked toward Piazza Ferrucci, taking a few backroads, and headed up viale Michelangiolo.

Read More

With Venus shimmering to the west and an almost full moon to the east, I stood on Ponte San NiccolÚ with my marito (husband) and our friends. We hadnít planned to see the fuochi d'artificio (fireworks) in celebration of Florenceís patron saint, San Giovanni, because we were in the Maremma this morning walking along the spiaggia (beach).

Read More

For as long as Iíve been in Florence, I have never sat on the steps of the Duomo. The other evening while I was walking by the Duomo, I saw people sitting on the steps and wondered what it would be like to sit there. Before I left our apartment this morning, I told myself that on my way to run a few commissioni (errands), Iíd stop and sit on the steps. At 11am with the sun finally shining overhead after many rainy and grey days, I sat down on the cold marble steps and watched people walk by while others stopped to take foto (photos).

Read More

I wish I had more time in the day: Iíd take more photos and write more about my beloved city. My other website, Florence from the Heart, dedicated to Florence is an outlet for me and other writers who live in Florence. We each select an aspect of the city and let the words flow from our hearts and out to the readers. I asked Andrea Ponsi, an Italian architect, writer, and artist, at his book presentation last week if he wanted to publish his article on via della Ninna because I enjoyed it.

Read More

Living in Florence :: Tourists enjoying my beloved city

At this time of year, I feel so fortunate to have my morning runs when I get to go around the Arno when the streets are less crowded. Itís a joy not getting stuck in a sea of people in the streets and on the sidewalks. This afternoon, via dei Neri was so packed that I had to change plans completely. Two large, slow-moving crowds were going down the street and turning down a sidestreet. Instead of trying to get past them to take my shortcut, I had to continue down via dei Neri. It was a little longer, but definitely quicker.

Read More

Thanks to one of my blog buddies, I found out about a book presentation for Bella Lingua by Dianne Hales at the Societŗ Dante Alighieri. I had invited a couple of friends to come along, but ended up going alone.

Read More

Itís interesting how sometimes when I wake up and hear the quietness of the city, I become more reflective. Today is Festa della Republicca and at this time normally the motorini (scooters) and cars are circulating the streets below. I recently spoke to another woman about being an expat and a few ideas solidified in my mind. I love it when a chance encounter with someone proves to be insightful and meaningful for me.

Read More

Living in Florence :: Another view of my piazza

I often walk through Piazza Mentana and always enjoy this view of the statue that stands in the middle of the piazza toward the Arno. In the almost three years weíve been in this apartment, Iíve noticed this view and have admired it. Today as I was walking by it, I felt drawn to take a foto (picture). Sometimes I donít have my macchina fotografica (camera) with me and other times I am carrying groceries home and canít be bothered to take a foto

Read More

Each city has its own personality. Most places stir something in us: in some we may feel joy or serenity, while in others we may not be infused with such good feelings. I didnít understand what Florence was all about when I first arrived. I had many signs, but I wasnít able to interpret them. I not only had to have a good grasp of the language, but also I wanted to know a few Florentines very well.

Read More

A few months ago, a professor from Asbury University in Kentucky emailed me to see if Iíd be open to talking with his journalist students if they were to come to Florence. I was of course flattered, but I wondered what I could talk to them about. David, the professor, told me that I could talk about my blog, my ďExpats in FlorenceĒ column in The Florentine and the expats that Iíve interviewed.

Read More