Living in Florence Living in Florence

An evening walk along the river

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I was happy that not a drop of rain fell today. I stayed home all day and couldn't wait until I went outside at 5pm when the sun was setting. I immediately walked through the piazza to reach the Arno. I was excited to see the colors of the city. Before I reached the red brick wall, I looked up at San Miniato. It was gently illuminated and glowed in the clear blue sky, which was getting darker by the minute.

I walked along the Arno and kept looking at the water. It looked more like glass: the colors were shimmering so clearly. The Ponte Vecchio glowed with the shop lights shining onto the fiume (river). At the beginning of the Corridoio Vasari, artists were selling their paintings. Closer to the Ponte Vecchio, tourists were snapping photos with the ponte (bridge) behind them.

I made my way across the ponte where tourists were peering into the bright windows and the shopkeepers were standing in the doorways. The air was cool with the sweet scent of the city lightly blowing past me.

I walked down Borgo San Jacopo where the cars were coming toward me. I made way for the people coming toward me on the sidewalk since I had clear view of the cars and small buses that were heading my way. While I was walking this evening, I finally realized the difference between the tourists and the locals in the streets: the tourists dress for the weather while the locals dress for the season. I had a coat on with a scarf lightly wrapped around my neck while a few tourists walked past me with unbuttoned cotton sweaters and light shoes. The weather is certainly not that cold, but it is cool with high humidity. When the sun goes down, you feel the cold even more.

By the time I reached my destination, the city was getting darker and the lights were illuminating more. I almost wished that I could stay outside to see the city transform with the sun setting in the distance.

Itís such a treat to walk outside. I especially love the Arno with its changing currents, colors, and mood. Today it seemed almost dreamy to me. I stood once along the low wall and peered into it. My thoughts swirled around with the water.

Iím fortunate to go for a short walk and receive so much joy with each step. When I see other people rushing past me not taking in the view, I wonder if they purposefully avoid its beauty or if they just want more time to enjoy it.

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November 2010
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