by Melinda Gallo

Feeling at home in Florence

Every day this week, I went out shopping for food and other items at the negozi (shops) I go to around town. After living in Florence for the last eight years, I have come to know a few of them quite well. Shopping and chatting with each one is one of my favorite pastimes when I知 in Florence. I a so happy to see them and it brightens my day when they are happy to see me too.

A few of them know that I have separated and am getting a divorce, but I don稚 divulge everything about myself. I told one of the merchants this week and his response was, Ma stai scherzando (Are you kidding)? When I explained that I wasn稚, he felt bad for me. Ma But, 塗e said, non ti manca nulla (You池e not missing anything). I couldn稚 help but smile. I hadn稚 thought that there might be something wrong with me that I couldn稚 find another love.

In another shop today, the guy said to me, Ho sentito e mi dispiace I heard and I知 sorry. We talked a little bit about it and, of course, as with most people he said, Sembravate felici insieme (You looked happy together). I didn稚 really want to go into much details, but I just told him that it痴 not obvious what goes on in a couple.

Talking to the shopkeepers always makes me feel so welcome in Florence. I love that I get to talk with people in all of the shops I go to. It's a joy for me to converse with them about anything and everything. I get a sense of being home just because people notice when I'm there and when I'm not, and are interested in what is going on with me.

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