by Melinda Gallo

Museo del Bigallo

My plan for today was to just go to the comune (city hall) to drop off my notarized autocertificazione (self-declaration) and see my girlfriend Haruko for lunch. My plans always feel a bit loose as I'm happy changing them and adapting to whatever comes up. At noon, we still hadn't decided on where to go or where to meet. I called up Haruko and we decided on going to Osir, which is my favorite Chinese restaurant in Florence, because I hadn't been in a long time and she hadn't yet been.

Living in Florence :: Museo del Bigallo

I dropped off the autocertificazione at the comune as planned a little before 9 a.m. The woman initially wasn't happy that the notarized document was in English even though I attached the original Italian version to it, so she asked me to swear that the translation was accurate by having me read what was written on a document she had and then sign it. Afterwards, she said that it'll take about ten days for my matrimonio (marriage) to get transcribed here in Italy. Once she said that, I said "I miei suoceri saranno molto felici! (My in-laws will be very happy.)"

I was happy leaving her office and now I can't wait for ten days to pass so that I can go to the anagrafe (registry office) to get an official document stating that Alessandro and I are married. Then, I can finally tell my suoceri that it's official because we told them that our matrimonio hadn't yet been transcribed here in Italy.

By 1 p.m., I was ringing Haruko's campanello (doorbell) and we went down to the taxi station behind the Duomo and waited for a taxi. Not a single one came, so we called for one and while we stood there waiting for ours, three empty ones showed up.

We arrived at the restaurant where I reserved a table for two and quickly ordered because we were both starving. We ordered Chinese-style, meaning that we ordered food that we both shared. We ate and chatted for almost two hours and after dessert, we decided to walk back to centro (downtown) to burn off a little of what we ate. As we reached the front of the Duomo, I took a few pictures because I was overwhelmed with how many students and tourists were walking up and down via Calzaiuoli as well as around the Duomo and the Battistero.

We walked in front of the Duomo and I told Haruko that I wanted to go and visit the Museo del Bigallo, so we weaved our way through the crowds and went inside. There is an Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition called Palazzo Medici Riccardi, but the woman at the biglietteria (ticket booth) told us that there was a wait to get in because of a group and then right after that there'd be another group. We decided on not going in because we'd rather have the freedom to look around at our leisure.

I had a spectacular day with Haruko because we were able to have a delicious lunch, walk around town, and visit a museo. We both realized how fortunate we are to be able to visit anything in Florence whenever we'd like. Sometimes it is difficult when one lives in such an amazing city because we walk past the Duomo or a variety of different musei and we're not always fascinated. Sometimes we have to go somewhere or do something else. It takes effort to stop and notice the beauty that we are surrounded by and to appreciate it.

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