by Melinda Gallo

Slowing down

For the past month or so, I've been busy with work, getting settled into my new apartment, and worrying about which path to follow for staying in Italy legally. So, today it was wonderful to finally take in my city again with a girlfriend of mine. I felt as if I hadn't been able to enjoy my city except when I look out the window at the Arno during the day.

Living in Florence :: Slowing down

This morning I met up with Bari at Le Poste (the post office) to get a packet to renew my permesso di soggiorno. She also showed me where the new ufficcio immigrazione (immigration office) was in the same building. I was surprised that Le Poste was empty. After I took a number, it was immediately called.

Afterwards, we went to one of my favorite pasticcerie (pastry shops) in Borgo degli Albizi to have a bombolone con crema (raised donut with cream filling) and a cappuccino. We stood at the bar and sipped our cappucini. The pasticceria is only open in the morning and early afternoon in August, so I was happy to get my colazione (breakfast) there.

We talked about lunch even though it was only 11AM. We walked down Borgo degli Albizi, which becomes via Pietrapiana, and went to the mercato di Sant'Ambrogio (Sant'Ambrogio market). We picked out all the ingredients we needed for a big salad, like lattuga (lettuce), pepperoni (peppers), finocchio (fennel), pomodori (tomatoes), and carote (carrots). For dessert, we picked up some fresh fichi (figs).

After we walked back to my apartment and going past the Santa Croce church, we prepared our lunch. We thought about sitting out on the terraza (terrace), but the sun was too hot to sit out there without an ombrellone (beach umbrella).

After lunch, we decided to take a stroll toward Piazza Pitti. Before heading to the Arno, we walked to via dei Neri to grab a gelato (ice cream). We walked up via dei Neri toward the Uffizi and then turned left toward the Arno. When we got to the river, I snapped a picture of the Ponte Vecchio. I hadn't been taking many pictures of my city lately, and I felt that I had to capture my day in a photo.

It was nice to walk around with Bari who slowed me down from my speedy city pace that I usually walk at. As long as the weather holds up, I'll try to take at least one stroll a week in my city. A stroll to just embrace my city instead of hurrying up to get somewhere.

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