by Melinda Gallo

Enjoying Florence up to the last minute

This morning I woke up a half hour early and instead of being frustrated at not being able to sleep more, I was excited at the thought of being able to visit Florence a bit more before taking off. At 7 am after the street cleaners had come and gone, I walked to the Ponte alle Grazie and was happy to see the sun peeking above the buildings along the Arno. I took a few pictures not just to post on Instagram, but also for me to savor.

I then walked to Piazza della Signoria where men were setting up a stage for a ceremony. No one was in the Loggia dei Lanzi and I stood among the statues alone. The sun was warming up not only the air, but also the colors of the buildings on the side facing the Palazzo Vecchio.

I walked through the Piazzale degli Uffizi to reach the Arno. I couldn’t help but go toward the buildings across the river that were basking in the sun. I stood against the low stone wall and admired the Arno, the Ponte Vecchio, and San Niccolò with San Miniato reigning above. The only people I saw were a few runners were making their way up and down the Arno.

I felt so fortunate to take photos of my beloved city with such amazing light in a delightful peacefulness. The street along the Arno changed directions so not even one car passed while I was standing there.

I walked back up the Arno to my apartment. I don’t believe I have ever gotten up this early to enjoy my beloved city before my morning departure. But I plan on doing it the next time I have to go because it filled me with great joy that I will take with me back to Paris.

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