by Melinda Gallo

A peaceful August morning

With ferragosto (mid-August holiday) tomorrow, Florence has become even quieter this week. Many of the fiorentini (Florentines) have left the city and are cooling off al mare (on the seaside) or sulle montagne (in the mountains). Many shops and restaurants are closed for their annual summer break and the streets beyond the centro storico (historical center) are virtually empty. This morning, I was eager to take a walk along the Arno River where I had run yesterday so that I could enjoy the view a little more and take a few photos. I havenít had the opportunity to enjoy my beloved city as much with all my recent travels.

Living in Florence :: A peaceful August morning

When I walked outside, the morning sun initially warmed up the colors of the buildings along the Arno, but as time passed the colors faded. Only a few cars and motorini (scooters) passed next to me while I strolled along the narrow sidewalk above the Arno. I walked down to Ponte Vespucci to see the water trickle down the embankment, and then turned around to return home.

On returning home, more tourists flooded the streets. I searched for shady areas to walk and ended up having to cross the Ponte Vecchio. This ponte (bridge) definitely signifies the flow of tourists in the city. Iím certain that anyone who visits Florence crosses the Ponte Vecchio at least once. Today it was so crowded, I was forced to walk on the sidewalk next to the jewelry shop windows just to get past the large groups meandering in the middle of the ponte.

My favorite photo today was the one I took of the San Frediano in Cestello church. I love seeing it above the Arno and especially its reflection on the river. It is a lovely reminder of the stillness that is present in Florence.

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