by Melinda Gallo

A quiet Easter Sunday

This year I didnít feel like going to the centro (downtown area) for the scoppio del carro (explosion of the cart) in front of the Duomo. I had gone two years ago and just wanted a quieter morning for myself. This morning, I enjoyed listening to the sound of the church bells ringing throughout the city. Eve though the day was a little grey, joy seemed to be all around. I saw so many people smiling and laughing together as they walked along the Arno toward the Ponte Vecchio. Because I havenít been outside much to just enjoy my beloved city, I just felt a desire to walk around by myself to a different and quieter part of the city.

Living in Florence :: A quiet Easter Sunday

I headed out of our apartment and headed down the lungarno away from the Ponte Vecchio and against most foot traffic. I crossed over the Ponte alle Grazie and looked up toward the Piazzale Michelangiolo where I saw crowds of people. I walked down the lungarno to Piazza Poggi where the Porta San NiccolÚ is located. I walked up the rampe, which is a large expanse that heads toward Piazzale Michelangiolo, but didnít go all the way up.

I only brought my macchina fotografica (camera), keys and phone with me. I let my eyes wander and only took a foto (photo) if I felt impelled to do so. The Duomo looked as radiant as ever with the terra cotta roofs of the buildings right below, showing off its dominance in the city.


I headed up a little more and walked through the wooded area with its dirt and stone path through the trees and bushes. I loved the purplish flower buds that I spotted on a tree. They looked ready to burst as if they were waiting for the right moment to open together. I always feel as if Iím in the countryside because I can hear the birds chirping and can barely make out the hum of the cars below. I looked out onto the lungarno where people were walking by in large groups with children running around and babies in their strollers. Today is a family day when people come to town for a stroll.

I had to get ready for my Easter lunch with my suoceri (in-laws) so I headed back down before reaching the piazzale. It was almost a shock to my system to be walking along the Arno again on the sidewalk where half of it is a bike path. There were more people than when I walked up with the addition of biciclette (bicycles) whizzing past me.

Iím not a fan of graffiti, but while I was approaching the Ponte alle Grazie, I saw a message that someone had written: ďSei speciale...ti amo (You are special...I love you).Ē I noticed how the closer I got, the more the message appeared centered under the Duomo. Iím certain that whoever wrote it was intending it to be for a person, but I took it as a message to my beloved city.

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