by Melinda Gallo

I have always been intrigued by nuns ever since I saw "The Flying Nun" on TV when I was a little girl. Here in Italy I have seen nuns mostly in churches and convents. The older nuns are usually Italian while the younger ones usually come from South America, India, and the Philippines.

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Living in Florence :: Snowing again?

Today instead of watching the snow from our apartment, I wanted to go out to take some pictures so I could remember what Florence looked like with snow. I quickly got dressed to go outside, putting on two scarves, gloves, and a hat.

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I have never met my neighbors and yet I know a tiny bit about them. We pass each other in the stairwell and say either buongiorno or buona sera depending on the time of day. We sometimes hold the door open for one another and yet we don't even known each other's name.

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Living in Florence :: Standing alone on Ponte alle Grazie

I took being woken up by the sun on the first of the month as a sign of hope. I decided to do something completely different today; something out of my normal routine. So, this morning after breakfast I went for a walk to the Arno river. It's only about a 5 minute walk from our apartment and yet I've only been there once before since we moved here.

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Dave woke up before me as usual today. I took over the bed and bundled myself up in the down comforter we brought from the States. Half-asleep, I listened to Dave go down the stairs and into the kitchen to make his morning cup of coffee. It's already Monday; time to get up and get the week started.

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The cold hasn't let up yet. For the last three months, the temperature has never gotten above 10°C (50°F) and is usually more around 3°C (37°F). Each day I hope it'll be warmer, but it ends up not being much different than the day before. Today, for example, it was overcast and a touch below zero (Celsius). I opened the glass doors that lead to the terrazza and quickly closed them. Just a small amount of air that I felt on my face made me not want to venture out any further.

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We woke up this morning with the sun shining in our bedroom and into our eyes. Most people have large green shades that they close at night to keep the sun out, but we welcome it even when it arrives early in the morning like today.

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Sometimes I forget that I live in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Sometimes I forget that people from all over the world dream of coming here. Sometimes I forget how much I love Florence. And sometimes I forget that Florence is my home.

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Living in Florence :: Una bella nevicata in cittą

It was the talk of the town today. Snow, snow, and more snow. I thought I saw snow yesterday, but today I was shown even more! The whole city was quiet and most people watched the bella nevicata (good snowfall) this morning from their apartments.

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Living in Florence :: Snowing in Florence?

Today was the first time it has snowed in Florence for probably many years. This morning when I went out, the sun was peeking through the clouds and it didn't seem particularly cold. As I was preparing lunch, the dark clouds started to arrive and then it just snowed; first a little and then a lot.

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I went to La Standa to pick up a few things today. I try not to go because of the long lines and high prices. "Hey, they've got tortilla bread here," an American girl yelled to her friend at the other end of the aisle. Not many people yell in grocery stores unless there's a fire or robbery. Even though Italians can be loud at times, they don't normally yell in enclosed public spaces unless it's at their kids and even then, not normally in front of other people.

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I met Debora downtown at the Edison bookstore in Piazza Repubblica this afternoon. After browsing all three floors, we purchased a few books. We decided to go and get a drink somewhere to just chat. She had told me about the bar at the top of "La Rinascente" (a department store) on the other side of the piazza.

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It's been three months since we arrived in Florence. Our life here seems quite habitual and normal. We see our friends, we eat out, we go to movies, we shop, we walk downtown, and we enjoy our life here looking out on the city rooftops from our desks.

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Today I went to a new mesticheria (household goods/hardware store) on via dell'Agnolo near our apartment. I've walked by before on my way to the market, but I usually go to a different mesticheria . The one I normally go to is so busy that you have to take a number and when you try to pay, you have to push your way through about 10 people to reach the cassa (cash register).

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After going to the market to pick up vegetables, fruit, meat, mozzarella (for pizza and for salad), and coffee, I thought about how Dave and I have created a new life with different routines than the one had before.

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