by Melinda Gallo

A few minutes to meander

I havenít had the time to just walk around Florence lately to see what changes have been occurring. Today, with only a half hour before lunch, I decided to walk along the Arno to take in my beloved city. Since autumn is one of my favorite seasons, I wanted to see how it has been progressing in Florence. I hadnít noticed many leaves on the trees turning color or leaves on the ground, although in the centro (city center) there are so few trees. Across the fiume (river), the trees still look rather green with all their leaves intact.

Living in Florence :: A few minutes to meander

I walked across Ponte alle Grazie and had my heart set on walking up the rampe (ramps) in Piazza Poggi where Porta San NiccolÚ stands. I was hoping to take a photo of the Duomo and the city since the sky was clear. Unfortunately I didnít feel that inspired about taking a photo there and continued on my walk.

Instead of walking down via San NiccolÚ, I walked down a one-way street, via dei Bastioni, to via San Miniato where I passed under part of the remaining city wall.

I walked toward Ponte alle Grazie and stopped in Piazza Demidoff where the sons of the Russian ambassador commissioned Lorenzo Bartolini to create a statue to be erected in the middle of the piazza. The large marble monument is made up of a statue of their father in the middle with four statues representing his four virtues on the four corners.

I took a photo of one of the statues, without knowing exactly which virtue it is, because I felt inspired by the woman holding the child. It wasnít only beautiful to see, but it touched me. Behind the statue are the green leaves turning yellow, the first signs of autumn. I stood there for a few moments, listening to the scooters and cars whizzing by. I felt the cool air brush against my face as I stood in the shade, hoping for a hint of sun to come through the trees above.

I rushed back across the ponte (bridge) to pick up the vegetables and fruit I had bought before I ventured on my trip. At 1pm, the shop closes, and I had to rush back to pick up my bag of goodies before the ortolano (greengrocer) left for the weekend. I was pleased with my stroll around the city today. I have been busy going places around town, but hadnít been able to take the time to just stroll the streets and look at what has been going on these past few days. It may only have been a half hour, but it filled me with great joy.

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