by Melinda Gallo

Tourists enjoying my beloved city

At this time of year, I feel so fortunate to have my morning runs when I get to go around the Arno when the streets are less crowded. Itís a joy not getting stuck in a sea of people in the streets and on the sidewalks. This afternoon, via dei Neri was so packed that I had to change plans completely. Two large, slow-moving crowds were going down the street and turning down a sidestreet. Instead of trying to get past them to take my shortcut, I had to continue down via dei Neri. It was a little longer, but definitely quicker.

Living in Florence :: Tourists enjoying my beloved city

Having said that, what would this city be without its tourists? It would be quite sad if people didnít come to experience such beauty. Iím happy people come to indulge themselves in Florence. I love that they want to visit its museums, streets, churches, and piazze. The streets may be more crowded, but I can share. I get to see and visit the city all year long, why canít they enjoy it when they have a break form their lives?

From our apartment, I saw this young girl sitting on the brick wall taking in the view of the Ponte Vecchio, enjoying the breeze along the Arno and feeling the energy of the city. She didnít sit in the middle of a piazza to read her book, but on this wall. I like that people, alone or in company, choose different spots to take in the city. It shows that the city is multifaceted and people sometimes are inspired to just stop and take in its splendor.

I wouldnít have wanted to bother her to ask her what she thought of Florence, but she sat in this spot for at least an hour. I noticed her when I looked out at the river before lunch. I peeked out a few more times during lunch and she was still there. Then, she disappeared. Iím glad I snapped this photo when I did even though my marito (husband) thought I was a little crazy.

The weather in Florence is absolutely perfect today: sunny with a cool breeze. I myself would love to wander the streets, get myself a gelato, and sit on the wall of the Arno. Itís a gift to be able to receive such joy doing simple things in life. One doesnít have to come to Florence to feel joy, but the city certainly offers a lot of it.

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