by Melinda Gallo

Feeling joyful and taking photos

Birthdays are happy days that I usually like to celebrate. Today is my mother's birthday and even though I'm happy that she was born, it still fills me with sadness now that she's no longer here. Last night, I had planned on going to Giardino di Boboli to walk around and write in one of my notebooks, but after getting out of the house late, I ended up walking around town and felt more like taking foto (photos) than writing.

Living in Florence :: Feeling joyful and taking photos

I started off by going to the chiesa (church) near our apartment where I ordered a mass for my parents last year. I sat inside the dark chiesa along with a suora (nun) who was praying in front of me. I felt a little sad, but felt that I shouldn't stay inside the chiesa too long. After lighting a couple of candles, I walked to via dei Neri and headed toward the Uffizi.

As I wandered down via dei Neri, I decided to go to the Loggia dei Lanzi to take a few foto. When I arrived at the narrow passageway between the loggia and Palazzo Vecchio, I was surprised to see so many people navigating the Piazza della Signoria. I sat down in the loggia surrounded by the amazing statues and took some foto of them. I enjoyed watching other people in the piazza below taking foto of the statues in the loggia.

I left the loggia with my macchina fotografica (camera) around my neck and strolled down via Calzaiuoli to go to Orsanmichele. Unfortunately, the chiesa was closed, so I headed toward Piazza Repubblica and down via Roma toward the Duomo. I took the foto shown here of the cross in front of the Duomo near the Battistero. I had been wanting to take this foto, but finally had my opportunity today.

While I was standing near the semaforo (traffic lights) on via dei Cerretani, I suddenly decided to walk to San Lorenzo chiesa and walk around the monastero (monastery). I didn't even remember that it was San Lorenzo's day until I saw the large canvas hanging on the fašade of the chiesa.

I had planned on going to a Chinese restaurant near Piazza della Signoria, but when I got there it was closed. I walked toward Piazza di Santa Croce on via della Condotta toward my favorite Asian restaurant to get some Thai food. I noticed that the doors to the Chiesa di San Firenze were open, so I decided to peek my head in for a quick visit. I stopped myself from going into the empty chiesa, which is part of the tribunale (court), when I saw the sign about wearing respectful clothing. I had a shirt without sleeves, so I took a couple of foto and immediately left. Alessandro had told me how beautiful it was, so I didn't want to miss my chance to see it. I'll go back another time when I, at least, have something to cover my bare shoulders.

When I finally sat down in the restaurant, I pulled out my notebook and began to write in my notebook. I had been enjoying my impromptu visit of the city because I saw things that I hadn't noticed before and was inspired to take foto. A part of me wanted to be melancholic today, but instead I felt so much joy walking around Florence with all my plans changed. I ended up having a wonderful day that filled me with joy instead of sadness. I'm sure my mom would've preferred that I celebrate her birthday being happy instead of being sad.

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