by Melinda Gallo

Identifying places as people

As with each place I have lived in, I tend to consider it a person with its personality, its qualities, and its shortcomings. To me, Florence is a woman who is beautiful, bold, assertive, vulnerable, capricious, creative, rich, intense, emotional, expressive, wise, sincere, loving, giving, and nurturing. When living in a place, we end up creating a relationship with it. This mutual relationship that can either make your heart soar or it can bring you down.

Living in Florence :: Identifying places as people

As with people, I have a different relationship to each place I have stayed in. With Florence, of course, I have the strongest attachment because I love my city. Not just because it is beautiful and unique, but because I feel at peace here. For me, it is the first place where I can let my hair down, be myself, and am applauded for it. My relationship to Florence reminds me of my relationship with my marito (husband) in all its intricacies.

My blog is an act of love for my beloved city. I write about Florence, share my thoughts and feelings with others, and capture moments that I want to cherish, like the photo shown here that I took yesterday. It is not just about noticing the obvious beauty, but about recognizing and appreciating the obscure beauty that is waiting to be uncovered.

I usually know what kind of relationship I have with a place after being there for just a few days. I don't make excuses or try to make a place fit into my life. Either it does or it doesn't. Places are similar to people. I can meet one person and we hit it off immediately, and I can meet another person with whom I have nothing in common. Compatibility is not something that I can plan or make happen; it is something that exists naturally.

I am always open to meeting new people, just like I am open to traveling to new places. I love discovering a new place and to try to get a taste of it. I can never know how a city or country will speak to my heart and soul or what kind of relationship will be created between us.

Florence is my home and my great love. I believe that like any good relationship, I can't just hold onto my beloved city and expect it to make me happy every day. I too am a part of my relationship to Florence, so I too am responsible for enjoying my life here. If I lived in Florence and only loved the apparent qualities, my relationship to it might not sustain itself for very long. I have created a bond to my beloved city through my acceptance of it, my respect for it, my continual learning about it, and my appreciation of it. I hope that my relationship will last a lifetime, but I am focusing only on how I feel about and interact with my city today.

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