by Melinda Gallo

Five years today

Five years ago today I returned to Florence and began writing my blog. As a gift to myself, I decided to buy a Fiorino (Florin). I have always wanted to buy one, but never had an occasion to do so. For me the fiorino represents my city especially since it has the giglio (fleur de lys) on one side and San Giovanni, which is Florence's patron saint, on the other.

Living in Florence :: Five years today

I walked to the Ponte Vecchio early this evening, and went into the gioielleria (jewelry shop) that I had in mind before I left the house. Even though I cross the Ponte Vecchio quite often, I have never bought anything in any of the shops on the ponte (bridge).

The first question the commessa (sales woman) asked me regarding the fiorino was, "Lo vuoi sciolto? Do you want it loose?" She placed the fiorino in my hand and I said yes before she told me how much it was. I explained that I was buying it to celebrate my last five years in Florence. She took 2 Euros off the price and placed the fiorino in a red velvet bag.

I walked outside with my fiorino in one hand and stood at the middle of the ponte to look out at the sun setting behind the buildings of the Oltrarno. I was so happy to see the reflection of the buildings on the Arno that I took this foto (photo) of the Ponte Santa Trinità. Sometimes the city's beauty takes my breath away.

I stood on the Ponte Vecchio and thought about what these last five years have been like in Florence. I watched the water slowly pass under me and was reminded of a quote by Dante, "Ricordate stanotte perché è l'inizio di sempre (Remember tonight for it is the beginning of always)."

I am grateful for every moment I have here in Florence: the city that has given me so much and has asked for nothing in return. I look forward to many more sunrises and sunsets in my beloved city.

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