by Melinda Gallo

Relief has arrived

The last week of June was probably the most stressful Iíve lived through in a long time. Maybe I wasnít the only one who felt the intensity of this last week. It was so bad that I kept my head down and rarely went out. We had a temporale (thunderstorm) on Friday that finally released the pressure. Before that, every day this week was hot and humid. I feel that there is certainly a link between the weather and my attitude. And, I see around me that Iím not the only one who is affected by the weather.

Because of all the stone streets and multitude of buildings in centro (in the downtown area), the heat seems to never dissipate. When the winds came through the city, they were warm and staggered instead of flowed.

After the temporale, Saturday was cool and sunny. I thought we would have more pioggia (rain) yesterday afternoon, but instead the grey clouds passed by and let the sun shine through and brighten up the city again.

This morning, the cool air drifted into our apartment and was refreshing. For the first time this week, I was excited about going out for run. When the air is heavy, I just canít seem to find the energy to go. I did go for a walk up the Viale Michelangiolo, but that only made me feel worse. The once peaceful street has become one of the only ways to get around the city. Certainly, it does avoid traffic from passing in town, but of course the people have to get to where they want to go.

I ran down the fiume (river) away from the city. Trees covered the path and kept the air cool. When I came back toward the city and ran across Ponte di San NiccolÚ, the sound of church bells and an ambulanza (ambulance) came through even though I was listening to music. I turned off my iPod and looked up at the fiume with the Duomo in the distance, listening to the sounds of the city. I couldnít help but smile.

How could I ever leave Florence? No matter how grueling things get at times living in a touristy city, Florenceís energy is just too vibrant for me to ever want to leave its embrace. And for me its embrace is found within its mura (walls). I had considered for a brief moment looking for an apartment outside the city mura, but I know Iíd miss my beloved city: its energy swirls around me, lifts me up, and instills me with love and joy.

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