by Melinda Gallo

Basking on the Ponte Vecchio

After my morning run along the Arno on Tuesday, I stood in the opened area across from the Cellini statue to stretch out. I looked out toward San Niccolò and let the sun soak through my clothes to warm me up. I shut my eyes because the light reflecting from the Arno was so strong. While I stood on the Ponte Vecchio again today after my run, the city seemed completely different. The sun was shining behind wispy, grey clouds and the air was crisp.

I stood next to the Cellini statue to stretch out and looked out toward Ponte Santa Trinita. The water was a light green and the sky was a mixture of pastels, grey, and white. I couldn’t stand in the open area too long because of the strong gusts of wind.

The city has been relatively quiet since Sunday. A few of the shops on Ponte Vecchio were opening up one by one and the man selling postcards and other touristy items from a cart was just starting to unpack. Only a few people were walking under the strings of white, unlit Christmas lights hanging above the shops both to and from the Duomo.

I have been enjoying the stillness of the city these past few days. With the quieter energy, I feel as if it is allowing me to build up some momentum for next year. Both times standing on the Ponte Vecchio above the Arno, I found myself thinking about how this year is wrapping up so quickly, and how a new one will soon begin. It’s as if each year brings so much hope with it. Each new year gives us the push we need to realize our dreams, accomplish what we desire, and find more happiness.

For me, the Ponte Vecchio is the symbol of the strength of the city; that indestructible part that people are attracted to. It’s the bridge that combines both the heart and the soul of the city. So, it’s almost poetic that I keep going back to it in the morning after my runs. It’s a perfect place to go to before beginning my day and especially before beginning the new year.

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