by Melinda Gallo

Running west instead of east

Itís Easter morning and the streets are fairly quiet: not many cars and even fewer motorini (scooters) are out. Instead of heading east away from the city on my morning run, I decided to head west. Not only was the scenery different, but my run had a different feel to it too. Time also went by quickly.

I crossed the Ponte alle Grazie and headed down via dei Bardi. I glanced up at the Duomo from the Ponte Vecchio when I passed by. I then headed down Borgo San Jacopo. The narrow and shady street was lined with shops that were all closed, but that didnít stop me from looking in the windows as I went by. I ran in the street and only once jumped onto the sidewalk when a car came toward me.

I turned right onto via Maggio one small block toward Ponte Santa Trinita and headed west again on Lungarno Guicciardini. It felt good to be out in the sun again with the cool breeze against my face. I passed by Ponte alla Carraia and enjoyed seeing the Cestello behind the trees.

I finally crossed the Ponte Vespucci and could feel the mist of the water rushing over the pescaia (weir). I enjoyed hearing it crash below and could feel the cool air and the smell of the Arno wafting up to me.

I turned down Lungarno Vespucci to go back toward our place. It was nice to run toward the sun and feel its rays hit my face. I quickly looked up at the Chiesa di Ognissanti as I went by.

I wasnít sure how busy the streets would be and had already planned my escape down another narrow street off of Piazza Santa Trinita, but instead I continued down Lungarno degli Acciaoli, which is the small stretch along the river before Ponte Vecchio. There is a very narrow sidewalk, but fortunately with so little traffic, I could run in the street.

Instead of continuing after the Ponte Vecchio to Ponte alle Grazie, I stopped again at the small outlet next to the Uffizi. With no one else standing there, I stretched out facing the Ponte Vecchio with the sun against my back. It was a great treat after my run.

I enjoyed my different route this morning. It was delightful to see more of the city than less of it. I was surprised that I ended up running more since it didnít feel like it. I must have been distracted by all the sights and sounds all around me. I might just try this route again during the week when itís not a holiday to see if itís always that calm in the morning.

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