by Melinda Gallo

Last night I went to see a production by the Florence International Theatre Company (FITC), called The Eight: Reindeer Monologues with Dave and my friend Sara. I had been wanting to go see it because I had heard so much about it. I wanted to go when the author Jeff Goode will be in Florence next week, but Saturday night seemed easier for us all.

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Living in Florence :: Mercatino in Piazza della Santissima Annunziata

Last night when I peeked out onto the piazza, I saw that they were marking the ground with chalk. It looked like there was going to be a small mercatino (small market). I was so excited that I couldn't wait for morning. Today is the Festa dell'Immacolata Concezione (Immaculate Conception Holiday), so most people don't work in Italy although many shops downtown were open. Via Calzaiuoli was so busy that we had to take the back streets and walk behind the Duomo to get to via dei Servi.

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Living in Florence :: Che bella veduta!

After last night's heavy storm, we woke up this morning to clear blue skies and warm temperatures. For most of the day, the sun was shining on our city. As the sun set this evening, I went out to our terrazza (terrace) and took this picture. I caught it at the right moment because just a few minutes later when Dave joined me, the sun continued to set and the sky became a little darker.

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For the past few days, I've been looking at all the corniciai (frame-makers) around town to get my two dipinti (paintings) framed. Most of the corniciai that I have seen do very nice cornici (frames), but not for the style of dipinto that I have. I saw two corniciai: one in via della Pergola and one in via S. Egidio yesterday when I was walking by, so I decided to bring my two tele (canvases).

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Living in Florence :: Sono fortunatissima

I know that I am fortunatissima (very fortunate) and I thank my lucky stars every day. And, I don't feel it's just because I live in Florence although Florence is a big part of my life. This afternoon, however, I was walking back to our new apartment and I realized just how fortunata I really am. I walked past the Duomo and wondered about all the people who travel so many miles to come here and stand where I was standing when I took this picture.

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Today was our first normal day in our new apartment. Last Friday didn't really count because we still had boxes all over the place. I didn't think that such a small move in the same city would be so huge for us. We changed supermarkets, local shops, and even palestre (gyms).

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Now that we have sistemato la nostra casa (arranged our house) most of yesterday, we were able to do a little bit of shopping today. Being that we're getting close to Christmas, almost all of the shops downtown are now open on Sundays. There seem to be many people roaming the streets in our area.

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I've known that Esselunga delivers groceries to people's apartments in Florence. I've been wanting to try it for a long, long time, but each time I thought of it, we were just about to go on a trip and we didn't need any groceries. But, once we got our new apartment, I was determined to give it a try.

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This morning at 9AM we had a meeting with the proprietari (owners) at our new apartment. When we arrived, there were two operai (workers) inside finishing up a few things. We waited for the proprietari to arrive to go through the apartment and ask them questions about a few things.

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Living in Florence :: Mercato di Natale tedesco

From one day to the next, the Piazza Santa Croce is transformed. Yesterday I saw them unloading the trucks and today the mercato (market) was open for business. For the past two years that we have been in Florence, this mercato di Natale tedesco (German Christmas market) has marked the beginning of the Christmas season. For some strange reason, the colder weather seems to come with them too.

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At 3PM on Sunday, we wanted to finally go to our new apartment and move in a few suitcases. I sent the proprietario (owner) an SMS to let him know what we were going to do today just in case there was a problem. I called to get a taxi about ten times and no one would come to our area because of the maratona, which had its finish line in Piazza Santa Croce.

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I received a telephone call yesterday from my agente immobiliare (real estate agent) to say that we can meet today at 3PM to sign the contratto (contract). We had planned to meet three other times this week and each one fell through. I wasn't completely certain our meeting today was going to happen until I arrived at the agenzia immobiliare (real estate agency).

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This year, my friend Sara invited us to celebrate Ringraziamento (Thanksgiving) with her husband and friends. She called me yesterday to coordinate what she wanted me to bring and what time to arrive. I spent all day shopping and cooking a few things for our dinner tonight.

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I get emails once in a while from people who read my blog. I'm always flattered that people take the time to write me, so I happily respond. I received an email from a guy who wanted to know if I knew Simone at Il Canapone because he saw that I mentioned the restaurant on my blog. It turns out that his girlfriend was dong an internship at Simone's restaurant and was going to APICIUS where Simone teaches as well.

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Living in Florence :: Buying artwork from a local artist

I admire all of the local artists who sit out in many of the piazze in Florence to sell their work. They are usually there every day of the week from March until November. Some of them even stick around during the cold winter months as long as it doesn't rain. Not only do I admire their talent, but I also admire them for doing what they love and making a living at it.

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