by Melinda Gallo

Taking in the city

Even though I ran a lot when I was in the States, the one thing I truly missed was walking. I love to walk around Florence to run errands, visit friends, and take in the sights. I enjoy walking in the morning instead of running at times especially to my favorite place: Piazzale Michelangiolo.

On this chilly autumn morning, I walked briskly over Ponte alle Grazie and along the Arno to head up viale Michelangiolo to the piazzale. With a clear sky above, the colors of the trees, buildings, and Arno were crisp. I couldnít help but look up at the trees and the yellow leaves that have already fallen to the ground.

I had to walk quickly to keep warm while the cold wind whipped past my face. I was bubbling with joy. With each step, I was eager to see the city from Piazzale Michelangiolo. I hadnít been up to the piazzale in over a month.

When I arrived up at the piazzale, I stood in the sun against the cold railing while I looked out at my beloved city. I was enchanted by all the colors and felt joy ripple through me. My eyes danced around: I looked down the Arno to the Ponte Vecchio, up to Fiesole, and the rooftops of buildings, monuments, and churches. Taking in the entire city like this is my way of embracing Florence, not just with my eyes, but also with my heart.

It feels so good to be back in my beloved city. For me, being able to bask in Florenceís energy and charm is one of the greatest gifts. I cherish each day I am here.

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