by Melinda Gallo

A walk to take in my beloved city

This morning I couldnít wait to go for a walk up to Piazzale Michelangiolo. After arriving last night, I was ready to get up to the piazzale to see my city in its entirety. Even though Saturday was warm and sunny, it was foggy and cool Sunday morning. I dashed out of our apartment and walked briskly across Ponte alle Grazie and along the Arno up to the Viale Michelangiolo.

As soon as I turned the corner to head up the viale, I couldnít help but smile. I found myself surrounded by flowers: white flowers on my left, purple and pink flowers on my right, and a few sparse yellow flowers poking out of the bushes. I felt as if I just stepped into spring even though the skies above were grey.

The walk up to the piazzale was quiet except for the cars passing by in both directions. I crossed paths with only two people.

When I arrived to the piazzale, I stood against the railing in the corner at the point closest to Ponte Vecchio. I felt as if I could almost reach out and touch my city with my fingertips. I wanted to hug it just for existing. There was a layer of nebbia (fog) that didnít allow me to see past my beloved city; the surrounding hills were hidden.

When Iím away, I tuck Florence into my back pocket and try not to imagine it too much in my mind. My heart breaks just a little when I see photos of it. Now that Iím back in my beloved city, I couldnít be happier. The one thing that my trips to Paris have taught me is that my heart is big enough to love both cities.

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