by Melinda Gallo

Le feste sono andate via

Today is a big day: the end of the holiday season and the beginning of the saldi (sales). The Italians say, "Con l'Epifania tutte le feste vanno via. With the Epiphany, all the holidays go away." Epifania is the last festa (holiday) until Pasqua (Easter). In Florence, the day after the Epifania marks the start of the saldi. I noticed yesterday that a few of the shops were closed, but some of the ones that were open were already offering unadvertised saldi.

While I walked around centro (downtown area) with Alessandro last night, the lights were still hanging above the streets. We saw many of the negozi (shops) preparing for today's official start of the saldi: signs were being affixed to the vetrine (windows) and stickers were being placed on the price tags.

Even though it has been raining since Monday, crowds of people were out walking the main streets of the city. The streets haven't been as busy as the days leading up to Christmas, but today with the beginning of the saldi, they were quite busy. I watched as people entered and exited the negozi, looking for great deals.

We may not have another festa for a couple of months, but the official start of the new year is now underway: the streets are more crowded, people have returned to the city, schools have started, and the saldi have begun.

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