by Melinda Gallo

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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We've been very lucky these past few weeks with only a few unbearably hot days, but now it seems that our summer heat has arrived. I'm not one to complain much about the heat because it is just a part of life here in Florence. And actually I sometimes like warm summer evenings, albeit a bit hot at times. But, with the heat comes the self-imposed darkness, which can make anyone feel a bit melancholy.

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Living in Florence :: Invitations for lunch and dinner

I recognize that I am fortunate. And, I wonder if by recognizing that I'm fortunate, I truly see just how much good fortune comes my way. Not only did Alessandro's parents invite me to their house for lunch for the second time this week, but I was also invited to another couple's place in Bellosguardo for dinner.

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I finally went to my new apartment today to let in a tecnico (technician) sent by Telecom Italia to install a DSL line. The proprietaria (owner) of my new apartment came by my place to drop off the keys Wednesday night. I had arranged for the tecnico to come Wednesday afternoon, but the previous inquilini (tenants) couldn't let in the tecnico because they were packing up for their trasloco (move).

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