by Melinda Gallo

Domenica a piedi

Only a couple of times a year the city organizes days when they shut down the centro (city center) to traffic. From our apartment, not a single macchina (car) or motorino (scooter) drives by. I can hear the water flowing down the embankment, the campane (bells) of the chiesa (church) chiming on the hour, and the birds chirping in the trees across the piazza. It is a joy to wake up to such peacefulness and still be in the centro.

It always amazes me how organized such changes are. At 8am, there were already two poliziotti (policemen) across the Ponte alle Grazie, which is an entry point to the city for macchine and motorini, to stop traffic from entering the centro.

Itís a cloudy day, but I imagine people will be walking the streets this afternoon to take advantage of the absence of macchine and motorini. Today might even be the last day to catch the saldi (sales) weíve been having since the beginning of January.

As I sit in our apartment and look out the window, itís almost as if Florence has been transformed. Without the macchine and motorini, it feels like another city. The traffic gives me the feeling of movement and action, but without it today I feel the city has taken a well-deserved rest and can just relax like the rest of us.

The traffic will start up again on Monday morning and today will have been just a day without macchine and motorini.

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