by Melinda Gallo

Buona fortuna per l'anno nuovo

Early this morning as the sun was rising slowly behind the dark, thick clouds, men in orange rain suits were sweeping the street along the Arno river. I looked out my window onto the piazza below where the rain had not stopped falling since yesterday afternoon. The maltempo (bad weather) didn't affet the celebrations too much as we heard the botti di capodanno (New Year's fireworks) until late in the night and early into the morning.

Living in Florence :: Buona fortuna per l'anno nuovo

The hazy blue sky and green Arno appear a one even though their colors are different. Everything appears muddled and unclear at this early hour.

The street cleaners are gone now and the the truck to pick up the trash has just arrived. So far it looks like just another day even though it is the first of 2009.

We enjoyed a quiet celetration with Alessandro's parents. I got to eat my favorite, cotechino con lenticchie (Italian pork sausage with lentils), which is said to bring prosperity for the new year. After sipping our spumante (Italian sparkling wine) as the new year rang in, we had to eat a few chicchi di uva (grapes) as they too bring you prosperity for the new year.

I decided to go for a walk around the centro (downtown area) to see what was going on. When I arrived in Piazza della Signoria, there was already a sea of people. I walked toward the Duomo where numerous bars were full with customers grabbing a quick caffè. The museums were closed and only a handful of shops were open to the public.

I noticed that the painting that the Japanese artist was working on yesterday had already disappeared and I felt a little sad. I took a few pictures of him working on it, so I at least have a reminder for myself. I walked to the loggia where the mercato (market) is usually held every day except on holidays like today. I observed as people touched the snout of the snout of Il Porcellino, which is actually a cinghiale (boar) for good luck. People lined up to place a coin in the bronze statue's mouth to let them drop into the open area below without touching the grata (grating). If so, more good luck is said to come your way. It was quite thrilling for us spectators to watch people cheer when their coin slid into the open area. I enjoyed my position best to get a view of all the people in front of the cinghiale.

I would've liked to touch the snout of the cinghiale, but the line was quite long. Besides, I already ate my lenticchie and chicchi di uva, so hopefully my fate for buona fortuna (good fortune) has already been sealed.

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