by Melinda Gallo

Making time

Ever since I have returned to Florence, Iíve been so busy that i havenít had much time to enjoy my beloved city. Besides the work that piled up in my absence, I had articles to write, interviews to do, and other projects to work on. I havenít even had much time to visit with my friends either these past few days. Today, however, I finally made some time to walk around a bit and take a couple of foto (photos) before meeting up with a friend for a caffŤ (coffee).

Living in Florence :: Making time

The streets were crowded with tourists while I walked down the lungarno (street that runs alongside the Arno) toward the Ponte Vecchio. I was so taken by the colors of the Ponte Vecchio and the Arno that I had to snap at least one foto, which I included here. I continued down via Guicciardini toward Piazza Pitti to pick up my friend.

Besides being busy since my return to Florence, I think I have also been digesting my stay in California. Despite my wonderful experiences visiting friends and family, I felt a bit lost in the state where I was born. I think if I didnít speak English, I would just be another foreigner traveling around. It is an odd feeling to be from a place and yet not feel as if you fit in.

Iím so happy that I was born in the U.S., even though I had no choice, but my American culture has instilled me with incredible gifts: positivity, a desire to succeed, and a drive to always do more and be more. But, I feel much more at home in Florence where I feel nurtured and cared for. Not just my body, but also my heart and soul.

When I am in the US, I feel that my desire to write is lessened. Itís as if Iím dried up creatively. Maybe I just needed my own surroundings, my family, my routine, and my home. But, I think I might have just missed my beloved city. Not only its beauty inspires me, but also its energy. That same energy that gave birth to the Renaissance entices me to be more true to myself and to always follow my heart. And for these two reasons alone I think I am able to be more creative and thrive here.

I might be able to make a lot of money in the U.S., but I am certainly happier here in Florence. The feeling the city gives me is so much greater than any amount of money I could ever have.

After walking around today, I felt the desire to do more things to enjoy my city. Its beauty fills me with so much joy and love that sometimes I smile just thinking about Florence. Even if I donít have time to navigate its streets and appreciate its monuments and museums, I often look out the window and see the Arno and the Oltrarno area from our apartment. I have noticed, however, that taking foto of my city gives me such joy that I sometimes want to just run outside and snap a few when I see how great the light and colors of the city are. Its beauty is unparalleled and I love capturing it when I can.

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