by Melinda Gallo

Apartment hunting begins

I had initially planned on returning to Paris with my beau on Monday, but instead I decided to stay an extra week in Florence. My main motivation is because Iím looking for an apartment to buy so I can finally set down my roots. For the past few weeks, Iíve been searching on the Internet. I sent out a few requests, but so far (mostly because many are still on vacation) I havenít received many responses.

I did, however, visit one apartment on Tuesday. It was in my price range, but way too small for anyone to live in. It was definitely made for short-term rentals. I shouldíve known by the photos, but sometimes they donít show everything. The guy who showed it to me said that heíd look and see if he has anything else. As he shook my hand goodbye, he said that if I ever see an apartment I like, I should just take it. He said many people have rimpianti (regrets). I smiled, but I know that I have to ďfeelĒ it. I rarely ever have rimpianti just because I always try to follow my heart.

Searching for an apartment has opened me up to trying out different areas in Florence. The first time I arrived in Florence, I was near Piazza San Marco and then I moved outside to an area called ďIl RomitoĒ. When I returned to Florence (and began my blog) in 2004, I lived in the Santa Croce area. When I had to move, I didnít want to change areas, but then found a fantastic place in Piazza Santissima Annunziata. When I moved out of that apartment, I was hoping to go back to the Santa Croce area, but found a place above the Arno near via dei Neri.

Now faced with finding a new place thatíll be relatively permenant, I am open to a different area although my favorites are still Santa Croce, SantíAmbrogio, San NiccolÚ, Santo Spirito and currently where I am now. I am definitely adamant about being inside the city mura (walls).

With most of the agenzie immobiliari (real estate agencies) closed and the websites being rather stagnant, I look at what is in the vetrine (windows) when I walk past an agenzia immobiliare. Tonight, while I was looking at what apartments were on sale in a vetrina, a French woman stood next to me and told her husband that she wanted to take a look. She added, ďI would never buy in FlorenceÖthe parking is awful.Ē I almost laughed, but I didnít want her to know I understood her French.

Many people find the centro (center) not very easy to live in, but I love it. I donít have a car, so parking is not even an issue for me. Being inside the city mura is like being in my loverís arms. I feel safe and loved. Florence is where my heart is able to open up and share what is inside. I canít wait to find the right place for me. I know that I will walk in the door and my heart whisper will whisper to me that I am home, just like it did when I first came to Florence.

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