by Melinda Gallo

For fear of the predicted rain that never came, I went to the mercato (market) this morning while the sky was clear. I hadn't been to the mercato in a while and even though it's not that far from my new apartment, I wanted to take my bicicletta (bicycle) because I didn't get to ride it at all yesterday. I have a handy cestino (basket) in the front of my bici (bike) so I knew I could buy as much as I could normally carry.

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Living in Florence :: Che acquata!

The day started out sunny and warm. I even thought it was going to be hotter than the past few days because the air was quite heavy and humid. But right after lunch a temporale estivo (summer storm) broke out. I closed all the windows just in time, but water slipped through and was coming into the apartment. My staircase looked more like a water fountain for a few minutes as water gushed in through a window from the terrazza.

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Living in Florence :: La mia nuova bici

Many of my friends have been telling me to get a bicicletta (bicycle) because it's so efficient to get around il centro (the downtown area). I have been against it for a long time because it doesn't seem that safe and their constant bell ringing can be a bit much when you're walking around. But, these last few months I have thought itd be a nice change.

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I grunted when Alessandro told me at midnight last night that he wanted to go for a run at 6:30 this morning. I knew it would be nice to run along the Arno before the city fully wakes up. And, because my palestra (gym) is closed for the next two weeks in the morning, I figured it'd be good for me to change my routine a little bit and run outside.

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I woke up this morning and went immediately to the terrazza (terrace) to look out at the Arno river and see the top of the Palazzo Vecchio. I love being able to get a glimpse of my city in the morning. On Sundays, there aren't many people outside and the city is rather quiet, so it's a true pleasure to be up on the terrazza to look out at the parts of the city that I can see.

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My avvocato (lawyer) has been trying to meet up with a woman at the Camera di commercio (Chamber of Commerce). The first woman we saw, Signora B. went on vacation almost three weeks ago. She told us to try to meet up with the head of the department, Signora T. to get the signed copies of two documents for me.

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Today I had an appointment with the proprietario (owner) of my old apartment. He sent me an email yesterday with a breakdown of the utenze (utilities) that I have to pay. I hadn't seen a single bolletta (bill) since I arrived in that apartment last December.

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Living in Florence :: My new place above the Arno

It didn't take me long at all to fall in love with my new apartment. The picture shown is the view from my window, and it's the same view I see from my desk while I'm working. I had been wanting to look out at something after spending last year looking at a wall, and the two years before looking out at rooftops. Now, I get to see people and cars, and I feel as if I am truly living in the city.

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While the bells of the Santissima Annunziata church rang at 8AM this morning, the movers rang my doorbell. I had a feeling that they'd be on time, but I was surprised that they were not even a minute late. Luckily, I was ready with all my boxes and furniture near the front door. Alessandro had helped me the night before until about 1AM to fare i pacchi (pack up) after I spent much of the day doing the rest.

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I haven't seen Paul Young in concert since I was about 18. I drove up to San Francisco with a few girlfriends and we saw him at the Kabuki theater. I had already missed George Michael who was performing in Lucca, so I absolutely didn't want to miss Paul Young.

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I'm generally a patient person. I don't complain when I have to see my medico di famiglia (family doctor) and wait over an hour and a half to talk to her for five minutes. And, I certainly don't wince when I have to wait in line at the Questura (police station) for at least an hour to hand in my paperwork to renew my permesso di soggiorno (permit to stay). But today, my avvocato (lawyer) stood me up, and I was a bit dismayed.

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I have finally scheduled my trasloco (move) for Sunday morning. I wanted to pick a time when the city is rather quiet and still cool. Although I realize that 8AM is a bit early to be ready for such a big change in my life. And, if the past few morning appointments are any indication, they will probably arrive earlier than 8AM, so I'll have to be ready for them by 7:30AM.

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Living in Florence :: Una giornata a Poggio di Petto

When the weather is as hot as it has been, the fiorentini (Florentines) search for refuge either al mare (at the seaside) or nelle montagne (in the mountains). Today, Alessandro took me up to Poggio di Petto to have lunch and spend the day with his friends.

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For the second week in a row, my friend Haruko and I have been searching high and low for single women to attend a dinner party. Last Saturday, she had a sushi party at her house and I was able to invite a few of my friends. Haruko decided to invite a few single women because one of our male friends, whom we both like a lot, is newly single. We invited all the single women we knew, but in the end there were still more men than women.

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This morning a tecnico (technician) for FastWeb called me and said that he'd been trying to call me for days. I told him that it's highly impossible since my cell phone is always on and I didn't see any missed calls. He told me that he had some time today to install the kit, which consists of the modem and wireless phone, so we set a time for us to meet at the apartment.

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