by Melinda Gallo

Holding Florence

My recent trips to Paris have enabled me to view my beloved city a little differently. The last time I went up to Piazzale Michelangiolo, I realized that I can hold the entire city in my view. Itís unlike Paris where itís hard to get a complete view of the city since itís so much larger. But, I realize that not only is the city easy to hold in my sight, but also in my heart as well. It's as if I can embrace it completely.

I was looking for an apartment to stay in for my next trip to Paris and felt overwhelmed by the different areas. I know only a couple of them fairly well, but the others are completely foreign to me. I may have walked through or more likely passed underground in the mťtro, but I certainly donít know all the neighborhoods.

Itís unlike Florence where I know each little neighborhood quite well without having lived in them all. Of course, living in one specific area has allowed me to know it even better. Not just by discovering the streets, churches, and monuments, but also the people.

Most people who live in Florence have a favorite area. Iím not sure I have one favorite area: I like a couple different ones to live in and many others to visit. I enjoy living near Santa Croce because of the mercato di SantíAmbrogio, but I especially love living near the Arno because I enjoy peeking at it all day long.

I feel that Florence is like a diamond: you can turn it around and around to discover and enjoy new aspects of it. Some people get stuck on seeing one part of the city, but I truly feel that Florence is impossible to put in a box because its facets are ever-changing.

No matter how much I enjoy holding Florence, I know that it continually evolves. And maybe it is that energy that I admire so much. It certainly inspires me to continually grow and evolve myself.

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