by Melinda Gallo

First sun of the year

Today was the first day in at least a week that the rain didn't wake me up. It was so beautiful outside that I decided to walk up to Piazzale Michelangiolo where I haven't been since it snowed two weeks ago. With blue skies and much cooler temperatures, I bundled up and headed out the door. I walked across Ponte alle Grazie and noticed that the water level in the Arno magically lowered. I stood there for a few minutes and noticed that on the south side, the water seemed to glide under the ponte (bridge) and on the side toward Ponte Vecchio, it loudly crashed into waves.

Living in Florence :: First sun of the year

I walked through San Niccolò under the porta (door) and up the scale (stairs) to Piazzale Michelangiolo. I looked back at the city a few times while I charged up the scale. I kept my eyes glued on the city as soon as I got up to the piazzale (large piazza). I was pleased to catch sight of the snow on the Apennines in the distance.

People were lined up along the balustrade of the piazzale, taking in the view, snapping foto (photos), and watching newly married couples on the terrazza (terrace) below. After taking my own foto from different parts of the piazzale, I too became entranced by the young brides in long, white dresses, the grooms, and all their well-dressed friends and families, most of whom were wearing a red ribbon.

I sat on the cold stone bench and watched the couples and their friends get their foto taken. It was mesmerizing to watch the photographers and videographers continually make jokes so that they could snap shots of them smiling and laughing. When I arrived, there were three couples, and by the time I left around noon, there were six couples in all who arrived separately in white limousines. The couples and their families took over the entire terrazza and tourists tried to sneak past to take foto of the city.

After an hour, I walked back down the scale and took my time taking in the views with the countryside to my left and the city to my right. I was so happy the skies were blue and the sun was out today. It's always a joy to see my city, no matter what the weather is like, but in the sun I get to see it shine.

I love taking foto of Florence to have my own little reminders of its beauty. Sometimes when I'm at home working or unable to go outside, I look at them. I never tire of my beloved city's beauty; I'm so fortunate to not only be able to capture it, but to also appreciate it.

To see all the couples who just got married up at Piazzale Michelangiolo taking foto with the city as their backdrop, it made me realize that almost everyone appreciates the city's beauty and wants to capture it too.

I admit that I love seeing Florence from different vantage points, and even the same ones over and over. To me, Florence is like a diamond that sparkles no matter which way I look at it.

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