by Melinda Gallo

Quando inizia la primavera?

It seems like every day I hear people asking the same question, "Quando inizia la primavera?" (When will spring begin?) One day, like yesterday, there's a hint of sunshine that teases us into believing that primavera is just around the corner. Then, the next day, like today, it's cold and rainy and we believe we've got a long way to go before the primavera begins.

We're all hopeful that spring will begin sooner rather than later because we're all a bit tired of the cold weather. We've been distracted by the carnevale with all the celebrations and delicious and rich dolci (sweets) in every forno (bakery).

The Florentines talk often about the weather. When it's too hot, too cold, too rainy, snowy, or just not right. The only time I don't hear people mention the weather is right at the beginning of spring when the days are sunny and not too hot. Nowadays, it seems as though each day is as cold as the last one and we can't seem to go outside without bundling up.

Because Florence is in a bit of a buco (hole), air doesn't move as quickly through the city. So, when it's hot, the heat doesn't seem to ever lift off and give us some relief. And, when it's cold, the air seeps into our clothes and homes and we feel it to our bones. To top it all off, Florence generally has a high humidity rate so when it's hot, it feels hotter and when it's cold, it feels colder.

But now that we all feel that winter has lasted way too long this year, we all ask ourselves, "Quando inizia la primavera?" and hope that the answer will be prossimamente (soon)! For lunch, I made an insalata caprese (mozzarella, tomato, and basil salad). With my small 1 Euro mazzo di basilico (bunch of basil) and a handful of pomodorini (small tomatoes) that I bought for 8 Euros a kilo, it felt like spring for us.

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