by Melinda Gallo

Beginning the year full of hope

The last day of the year was rainy. It hasn't stopped raining much today, but when it did, I went outside to take a few foto (photos) in the afternoon and in the early evening. I walked to Ponte alle Grazie to look at the Arno and the views of my beloved city. With all the rain we've been having in Tuscany, the Arno has continued to rise. It has even changed color and is now a light brown. Even though nothing along the Arno changes, I still love the views from Ponte alle Grazie in both directions: toward Ponte Vecchio and toward San Niccolò.

Living in Florence :: Beginning the year full of hope

When I walked down the lungarno (road along the Arno river), crowds of people were strolling around the city, holding ombrelli (umbrellas) to protect them from the rain. Against the muted colored buildings, the ombrelli seemed bright in comparison. All the negozi (shops) were closed, but people seemed to be enjoying a day outside to take in the city's beauty.

While I stood on Ponte alle Grazie, I looked out in both directions. I was surprised to see the water level so high under the Ponte Vecchio. I took a few foto, but ran back home when it began to rain again.

Later this evening while the sky was getting darker, I rushed to Ponte alle Grazie to take some more foto. I love the color of the cloudy sky as it gets darker while the lights shimmer on the raging Arno. I enjoyed looking at my favorite chiesa (church), San Miniato, illuminated above San Niccolò while I listened to the water rush below me.

I'm excited about this new year and especially this new decade. In the last decade, I experienced some of the lowest points in my life. I'm looking to this decade for some higher points. The stormy weather, the rushing water in the Arno, the beautiful colors of the sky, and the views of my beloved city all give me hope that this year will be rich in love, joy, and beauty.

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