by Melinda Gallo

Last holiday for a while

In Italy today, we celebrate Epifania (Epiphany). Itís the last holiday in a string of major holidays (Christmas and New Yearís) until Easter. After a cool day yesterday with rain most of the afternoon, this morning is cloudy, but sunny. For the second morning in a row, the sun has lit up the sky with oranges, pinks, and yellows that I normally only see at sunset. The city is quiet with a few people bundled up strolling around town. Almost all the shops are closed this morning even though the big after-Christmas saldi (sales) started yesterday.

This morning, I ran through town because there were fewer cars and delivery vans zipping down the streets. I first headed toward Ponte Vecchio and continued along the Arno where I crossed Ponte della Vittoria. At the first bridge, Ponte Vespucci, I crossed back over: the sidewalk is much wider and less bumpy for running. I usually like the variety, but the city does look different when I run away from it and when I run toward it.

When I reached Ponte Vecchio, I crossed it and zigzagged through the few people perusing the shop windows and admiring the views. I remembered yesterday when I stretched out on the bridge and faced Ponte Santa Trinita. I first stood on the side opposite the Cellini statue to face the sun, but then realized that I should face West. It is probably more auspicious to look toward the future, not the past.

I turned down via Bardi and ran along the lungarno until I crossed over Ponte alle Grazie. When I stopped, I stood on the bridge with the sun in my face and took in a deep breath. I did a 360į turn and took in the entire city as best as I could. I took my time walking home so I could relish in the gifts of the Epifania.

Share your comments for this blog post on the Living in Florence's Facebook page. Grazie!