After a rainy Halloween, the sun has reappeared to warm up the cool air for the festa di tutti i santi (All Saint's Day). Before I left our apartment this morning to do a few commissioni (errands), my friend Marco called to say, "Auguri! Best Wishes!" for the festa (holiday). He has a strong connection to Florence and would love to live here, but now resides in the north of Italy. Before he hung up, he said, "La porti un bacione a Firenze! Give Florence a big kiss for me!"
The expression comes from the lyrics of a song: "La porti un bacione a Firenze, che l'è la mia città che in cuore ho sempre qui. La porti un bacione a Firenze, lavoro sol per rivederla un dì. Give Florence a big kiss, it's my city that I always have in my heart. Give Florence a big kiss, I only work to see her one day."
Marco has said this to me before, but today I felt motivated to go to the Ponte Vecchio and send Florence a bacione for him.
I stood on the Ponte Vecchio while a few grey clouds began rolling in. The number of tourists was lower than it was a month ago, and it was easy to find my way to the middle of the ponte (bridge). I stood in front of the statue of Cellini while people walked past me snapping pictures of the view.
While the Arno slowly flowed under the ponte, I closed my eyes and kissed Florence for Marco in all four directions. Toward the Duomo, toward Oltrarno, and both directions of the Arno.
When I got home and sat at my desk, I looked out at the Arno once again. I thanked my lucky stars: I'm so fortunate to live in the city I love. I hope that Marco will also be able to live in the city he loves. I know that it's a true blessing.
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