by Melinda Gallo

A drive through the countryside

Our friends invited us to a birthday lunch outside of Florence today. I was excited to get out of the house since I've been staying home a lot. Every day I look out at the low hills across the stagnant Arno and crave to be outdoors. We left the house around noon and headed east. We drove along the Arno for a little while and then through some winding roads to a street that led us through vineyards and olive orchards. The colors of the vineyards struck me, so I asked Alessandro to stop the macchina (car). I jumped out to take a few foto (photos) because it was breathtakingly beautiful.

Living in Florence :: A drive through the countryside

Many people come to visit Tuscany in the summer, but I feel that the most beautiful colors appear in the autumn. The first time I ever came to Italy, I stayed in Tuscany and travelled to a different place each day. I loved the lush rolling hills, rustic buildings scattered around the countryside, and churches that dominated small towns. But now that I live in Florence, I see the beauty in the seasons and love each one. I have come to realize that even though there is no perfect time to visit, I feel the autumn is the most impressive to me.

After our lunch with friends, we drove back to Florence. I didn't watch the road much, but instead stared out the side windows of the car to catch the splendid views. Even a villa alone in the middle of an olive grove may seem uninteresting to most, yet to me it is beautiful.

I'm usually reluctant to leave my beloved city even if it is for a short period of time, but I do enjoy the drive back when I see how the country fades away and the city appears almost abruptly from behind the trees, lining the Arno.

I'm so happy that I usually take my macchina fotografica (camera) around with me so that I can capture the beauty that sometimes takes me by surprise.

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