by Melinda Gallo

A slow start

I went walking around in centro (downtown) for the first time yesterday. I had pretty much stayed home since Friday because I was a little under the weather. It seems like there's a small bug going around as almost everyone I know has a touch of something. Either a raffredore (cold) or the influenza (flu).

Outside the streets seem quite peaceful. I went to the mercato (market) and half of the bancarelle (stalls) weren't even there. There are fewer cars, motorini (scooters), and even buses these days. It feels like August without the heat.

Things seem to be starting slowly this year, but it's normal. Florence has its own rhythm, which might be the same all over Italy, but I don't know for certain. This week is just a downtime period after Christmas and New Year's.

We have our third and final festa (holiday), Epifania (Epiphany), coming this Saturday. So by next week, all the saldi (sales) will be in full force and all of the fiorentini (Florentines) will be back.

Although I was wondering about where the fiorentini might be as there really hasn't been any snow this year. I have friends who went skiing and I'm not sure what they've ended up doing in the mountains for a week. I haven't enjoyed the city as much as I wanted while things were quiet, but I kind of miss all the people.

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