by Melinda Gallo

Sunday's summer storm

Yesterday morning, an unexpected storm broke out. The sky went dark and the rain belted down on the streets below within a few moments after the threatening clouds appeared. I looked out the window to watch the rain, which quickly turned into a heavy, but brief, grandinata (hailstorm). I couldn't help but watch as a few people ran in the street desperately looking for cover. After a few minutes, no one was walking in the street and the city seemed to come to a halt while almost everyone stopped to watch the storm erupt and then eventually fade.

Living in Florence :: Sunday's summer storm

For at least an hour I watched from our apartment's windows as the Arno, which did have brown swirls of vegetation growing underneath the surface, change color from a murky brown to an olive green. The street along the Arno became flooded by so much rain at once that when cars sped by water splashed up the sidewalk.

I had been wondering when water would return to the Arno, which seemed to be so low that some people were able to walk under the ponte (bridge) where there was a cement embankment. Just a few days ago, I saw a guy fishing as he stood on the cement embankment, which then had a thin layer of water trickling down it. And then just Friday, I noticed a few women with easels set up that were painting under the ponte.

With the summer sun that shines for at least 13 hours a day on my beloved city, the Arno has been slowly disappearing. The river is my dear companion all day long. I catch a glimpse of it throughout the day to see its color change and to see what is going on.

I was happy about the rain, which filled the Arno and cooled down the city for just a brief moment. In the early evening, the air heated up again and the air seemed muggy, but then later in the night the air cooled down.

Today we've been enjoying sunny skies along with a cool breeze. I woke up to the sound of water flowing off the cement embankment under the ponte. It's the perfect summer day with the fluffy white clouds that float by and lighten up everyone's mood.

Share your comments for this blog post on the Living in Florence's Facebook page. Grazie!