by Melinda Gallo

Terry Lierman at Syracuse University

Last year when Dave and I went to a 4th of July celebration outside Florence, we saw a Democrats Abroad booth where I gave my email address to find out about upcoming events. Dave and I aren't generally the types to join groups and today was the first time we even attended anything of theirs.

There was an interesting mix of people from all over Italy as well as from France. Many people came to Florence to go to the Memorial day ceremony, which will be held at the Florence American cemetery. More than 4,000 servicemen and women are buried at the cemetery, which extends roughly 70 acres. I have taken the bus past the cemetery many times on my way to San Casciano.

Many people living in Italy stood up in front of the moderately-sized crowd and talked about many issues close to their hearts. Afterwards, Terry Lierman talked about what's going on in the States.

We sat on the lawn of the beautiful garden of Syracuse University in the shade of a beautiful tree. We snacked on wine, appetizers, and desserts.

I introduced myself to one girl, named Sara, whom I had seen in a shop on Borgo degli Albizi. I had known she was American because she talked to a customer in English once when I was there. She told me that she's been in Florence for ten years and just got married last year to a fiorentino.

Another woman, Carolyn, was kind enough to give us her number so we could get together as well. She and her husband moved to Italy many years ago after living in England and Holland.

Another girl from California, Breena, introduced herself to us because she found out that we were from California. We found out that she shares an apartment with the guy who started the Studentsville web site.

I'm happy that we went to the event because I was able to meet some very nice expatriates. Many people ask me if I know a lot of expatriates in Italy and I always disappoint them by saying that I don't. Most of my friends in Florence are Italian, so now I can say that I met a few American expatriates who live in Florence!

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