by Melinda Gallo

Keeping my roots in Florence

This morning when I went to the rosticceria (rotisserie) to buy something for lunch, one of the guys struck up a conversation about my being in France so much. I told him that I was only away for two weeks, but that for my next trip I might be staying away even longer because of the holidays. He said that it must have something to do with the Frenchman I came in with last October. As soon as I smiled, he winked and said that he was happy for me.

After I told him that when I return the next time, my beau would be with me, his look became serious and he leaned over the counter. He asked me two questions: ďParla italiano? Gli piace il calcio? (Does he speak Italian? Does he like soccer?)Ē After saying yes to both, he let out a big chuckle. Every time I go into the rosticceria we talk about the Fiorentina (Florenceís soccer team) so they know how much I love calcio. When I told him that my beau followed the Fiorentina a while back, he said, ďAllora Ť il destino. So, itís destiny.Ē

We talked a bit more about the Fiorentina while he packaged up my food, but before I took off he leaned over the counter again and said, ďNon togliere le tue radici da Firenze. (Donít take out your roots out of Florence.)Ē I was touched by his words and felt as if all the feelings I had of being unsettled were solved with one simple sentence.

He went on to tell me that Iím a fiorentina (Florentine) and I just canít leave behind this city. He told me that I should always keep a place in Florence and explained that itís not about returning to Florence frequently, but that my roots remain untouched. It reminded me of the saying, ďYou can take the girl out of the city, but you canít take the city out of the girl.Ē

I walked out of the rosticceria floating on air. I felt as if all my problems had just been solved. I had been wondering if I should keep a physical home in Florence because I just canít imagine my life without my beloved city. His words came at the perfect time and were exactly what I needed to hear.

I am happy to say that even though I am moving my home to France, my roots still remain in Florence.

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