by Melinda Gallo

One beautiful, but busy piazza

My piazza isn't normally that busy, but this morning when I looked out from the terrazza (terrace) I saw a bunch of actors sitting on the steps in front of the Ospedale degli Innocenti all dressed up. It was raining a little bit, so it looked like they were waiting it out. Later in the afternoon when I had to go out, I took this picture from the first floor window of my building.

Living in Florence :: One beautiful, but busy piazza

I didn't recognize anyone and couldn't figure out what they were filming, but still many people crowded around to watch what was going on. Unfortunately, I had somewhere to go or else I would've stood at the window for much longer.

A lot seems to be happening in my piazza these past few weeks. There has been music playing at night in front of the Ospedale degli Innocenti for small groups of people, which is usually played well past 11 at night.

I was told that in the summer, there will be concerts in my piazza, but not much has really happened as of yet. My downstairs neighbors had a guitarist perform in their apartment and invited me an hour before he was to begin. Needless to say, I didn't go because I had too much work to do, but I heard him playing his guitar and singing until well past 1AM.

My piazza has become quite busy this last month as more and more tourists seem to stroll through it. I think some go to the chiesa (church) or the museo archeologico (archeological museum), and some have strayed from the beaten path and are just looking for the Accademia to see David.

Normally the only people I see in my piazza are people walking through it to get to il centro (the downtown area), the guys on the corner of via dei Servi, who continually ask me if I want to buy some marijuana or hashish to which I used to respond with a, "No, grazie." (No, thanks.) But after many, many months of them asking, I have learned to just ignore them when I walk by.

I also haven't seen many barboni (tramps) lately camped out under the portici (porticos). It seems they only sleep there when the weather is cold, which I can't understand. I think I saw two the other night, but before that it has been weeks since I last saw anyone curled up in a sleeping bag using their suitcase or duffle bag as a pillow.

I'm feeling rather nostalgic about my piazza these days as I know that I will be leaving it in about a month. Every time I come home, I try to take it all in: the surrounding buildings, the church, the portici, and especially the view from my apartment.

As one woman told me on the phone the other day when I had to make an appointment for someone to come to my place, "La sua piazza č veramente la pių bella di Firenze!" (Your piazza is really the most beautiful in Florence.) To which, I responded, "Lo so...sono molto fortunata." (I know...I'm very lucky.)

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