by Melinda Gallo

Longer and earlier run

This morning we somehow made it out the door a little after 6:15 am. The air was cool in the early before the sun rises, so I prepared myself for the low temperatures and put on my sweats, wool cap, and gloves. The streets were even quieter than they were during the week. There was a light breeze that nudged us along the lungarno (street along the Arno river). I looked down at the fiume (river) and the water wasn't as still as it was the last two times we went running this week. The reflection of the buildings in San Niccolò on the Arno looked more like an impressionist painting.

We decided once we crossed the Ponte San Niccolò that we'd go on a longer run. We ran a short distance up the Viale Michelangiolo and turned on via dei Bastioni. I love this street because even though we're in the heart of Florence, it feels as if we're in the countryside. We inhaled cleaner air and listened to the birds chirping as we jogged along the one way street. There were houses on one side and a stone wall on the other. Not a single car drove past us as we were running behind the main street in San Niccolò.

When we arrived in front of Ponte alle Grazie, it would've been easy to just cross it and go back home. Instead, we crossed the Ponte Vecchio and ran through the Piazza della Signoria. I peeked up at the Duomo and saw that it was still illuminated. I don't think it has been when we went for our early morning runs this week because we usually get out at around 6:30 am, and they must turn off the lights at about that time.

Because I had wanted to do a longer run, we ran down Borgo dei Greci toward Santa Croce. I stayed to the left of the street to take a good look at the chiesa (church) before we turned right down via dei Benci.

Instead of running down via dei Neri to reach our place, we ran down the street right behind it so we could avoid the cars just a little bit longer. We stopped the second we arrived in Piazza Mentana, and soon after the campane (bells) rang seven times. The sky was a light blue and the sun was up a little higher.

By the time we walked up the steps to our apartment, I could feel the impact the run had on my legs. I felt wonderful, and talked to Alessandro about a longer run next week.

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