by Melinda Gallo

Running up to Piazzale Michelangiolo

Because my friend Erin and I are planning on running in the Guarda Firenze corsa (race) next month, I decided that I have to run some more in salita (uphill). I know our corsa will lead us up to Piazzale Michelangiolo, so I figured that today would be a good day to try running up there. I had never run up to the piazzale before so I was a little nervous but also excited to try.

When I left the house this morning, it started sprinkling lightly, which was a surprise because yesterday was so warm and sunny. I crossed the Ponte alle Grazie and headed toward San Niccolò. I turned right to go along the Viale Michelangiolo. All around me were flowering trees and cars slowly creeping down the viale (avenue) toward the centro (downtown area). There weren't many people walking up the viale although there were a few runners out like me.

At each bend of the viale, I had hoped to see the piazzale. I became a little disappointed each time because it felt long to me. The second I saw a clearing and the piazzale, I searched for the statue of David. When I spotted him, I was so happy. I sprinted up to the piazzale and then walked around it to take in the view. I generally don't like stopping when I run, but running in salita was much harder for me than I thought it would be.

I always feel such joy when I see the Duomo from the Ponte Vecchio, but today from the piazzale the view of the city was stunning. I looked down and saw people walking along the lungarno where I usually run. I peered out at the Ponte Vecchio and then headed toward the stairs that lead back down to San Niccolò.

I walked down the steps and then jogged the rest of the way home. I certainly was happy of my new run, and especially enjoyed the view from the piazzale. I am planning on doing at least a couple of longer runs so that I'm more prepared for the corsa next month. Although running in salita was difficult for me, it was well worth seeing my beloved city from above to begin my day.

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