by Melinda Gallo

An inter-religious dialogue

It wasn't until I was waiting for my girlfriend in front of Saschall that I realized that I don't often go to an event outside of centro (downtown). I felt like the girls in that Sex and the City episode when they took the ferry out of town to go to a party. It's not that far out of centro, but it's not that close where I could walk to it either. My friend had to take a bus to get there while Alessandro's father drove me since I had lunch at their house, which wasn't too far away.

Living in Florence :: An inter-religious dialogue

My girlfriend and I listened to the different religious speakers, like S.S. Sakya Trizin, and enjoyed the intermezzi (intervals) of live music at the Inter-religious dialogue. It was interesting to hear the representatives of the various religions speak about their faith and their view of how we can choose peace.

A few of the speakers said some things that really touched me, like the Islamic representative who said, "La diversitÓ vuol dire ricchezza." (Diversity means wealth/richness.)

The writer Richard Zimmer spoke on behalf of the Jewish faith and had some very interesting arguments about religion and peace. My girlfriend is from New York and really appreciated his New York accent and humor, which is something she has missed while being in Florence.

At the end of the day, we were given flowers to put in the Arno river. The picture above shows the basket of flowers that were given to a girl in a canoe to place in the river while the Tibetan monks chanted. It was a beautiful experience and I'm happy I made it out of centro to attend it with my girlfriend.

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