by Melinda Gallo

Sitting on the steps of the Duomo

For as long as Iíve been in Florence, I have never sat on the steps of the Duomo. The other evening while I was walking by the Duomo, I saw people sitting on the steps and wondered what it would be like to sit there. Before I left our apartment this morning, I told myself that on my way to run a few commissioni (errands), Iíd stop and sit on the steps. At 11am with the sun finally shining overhead after many rainy and grey days, I sat down on the cold marble steps and watched people walk by while others stopped to take foto (photos).

Watching all these people who traveled many miles to visit Florence, I felt very fortunate that I live in Florence where I can stop any day of the week, even if only for a few minutes, to assaporare (savor) my cityís charm.

For me the Duomo is the heart of the city. It is so significant that it can be seen from anywhere in the city. Nothing surpasses the height of the cupola (dome) to ensure the dominance of the cityís heart. Anyone who visits Florence will see the Duomo at least once, and no matter where you are in the city, you can always find it and use it as your guide. I also realized today that the main colors of the Duomo are pink and green, which are the colors of the heart chakra.

Sitting on the steps of the Duomo in the shadow of the chiesa (church) and the Campanile, I looked up to see the gold doors of the Battistero in front of me. For me, it is an honor to be surrounded by such artistic passion.

I looked behind me and up to take in the facciata (faÁade) of the Duomo. It is so intricate that I was constantly getting distracted by other details: statues, carvings, plaques and paintings.

When I decide to leave, I realize that an hour had passed by. Before I got up to walk away, I noticed how crowded the steps had become. When I arrived, there were many empty spaces I could choose from and afterward it was hard to spot one.

A veil of white clouds passed overhead and I found myself hoping it wouldnít rain again. I made my way through the crowds and onto via Martelli. I looked back at the steps where I sat to take a small pausa (break) to assaporare my beloved city and smiled.

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