by Melinda Gallo

Basking in the morning sun

I realized this morning during my run that when Iím in Florence, I change my route quite often. I decide before I walk out the door which way I will go based on many factors: day of the week, time of day, weather, and my mood. I try to avoid traffic, but when I canít do that, I have a standard route that I run. Yesterday I ran that route, which is to go to Ponte da Verazzano and back. Itís one of my favorite routes because there arenít many people on the sidewalk; however, the only problem is that there are a lot of cars at Ponte San NiccolÚ.

This morning, I felt like changing it up. I felt inspired by the warm, orange light cast upon the city. I got outside a little earlier than usual, so I could run to Ponte Vespucci and back. There are parts where the streets are a little busy, but at least I donít have to contend with bicycles coming at me head-on.

I extended my run today and instead of stopping at Ponte alle Grazie, I ran back up toward Ponte Vecchio. Instead of walking back to a giardino (garden) or my piazza, I decided to stretch out on the ponte (bridge) itself because there were only a few people standing around.

Instead of standing near Cellini statue, I stood on the other side facing the sun. After I stretched out, I stood still looking out at the Arno, the sun, Piazzale Michelangelo, San NiccolÚ, and the hills in the distance. I enjoyed taking in the city and watching the ripples of the Arno slowly coming toward me. The sun warmed up the air that brushed against my face, and I felt as if it were filling me with joy.

Most of the time, I glance at the city and appreciate it in spurts, but rarely do I have time to just stand and take it all in. I forget sometimes to pause because, like everyone else, I have things to do. Today, however, reminded me about the joy that the city infuses me with that will certainly last all day and hopefully the rest of the week.

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