by Melinda Gallo

More time to explore Florence

Most people say that if they had more time, theyíd travel to other countries more. But it if I had more time, I would explore my beloved city more. There are still museums that I havenít been to, streets I havenít walked down, churches I havenít entered, monuments I havenít fully appreciated, and areas Iíve only had a taste of.

I love traveling, especially when I can go to a new place and experience another culture. Iím not fond of just going to a city to see the highlights. That is one of the reasons I love about being an expat: I get the opportunity to immerse myself in a new place, culture, and language. It is certainly one of my greatest joys in life.

On days like today when the sun is out and the temperatures have risen just a bit, I find it an absolutely perfect time to visit Florence. This morning when I walked through Piazza della Signoria, I realized that the tourist season had just begun. I walk through the same piazza every week and today I noticed an increase of tourists and groups circulating.

Instead of walking down via Calzaiuoli, I marched past the fountain toward via dei Cerchi to get to via del Corso. Itís a quieter and less populated street. I waved at my pescivendolo (fishmonger) after passing by the beautifully arranged fruit and vegetables at the ortolano (green grocer). The display always catches my eye.

On Mondays, many of the shops are closed in the morning so there are also fewer locals walking around on the narrower streets. The absence of people also makes it easier for me to look in all the shop windows even though they arenít open.

I hurried home after running a few commissioni (errands) and found myself and looking out the window numerous times. I envy all the groups of travelers walking by along the Arno while I am supposed to be working. I do wish I had more time to explore my city some more each day. And now that the weather is improving, I really crave it. I hope they all enjoy my city while Iím unable to.

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