by Melinda Gallo

Lost in Florence

I arrived back in Florence last Saturday. I welcomed the warm blast of air that hit me as I walked down the stairs of the airplane. After taking in one deep breath and turning around to see the sun coloring the sky, my entire body relaxed. The words “I am home” floated in my head. It’s odd for me because I feel at home in Paris especially with my beau, but Florence is my true home where I feel more relaxed, nurtured, and loved.

I never imagined that a place would affect me as much as Florence does. Ever since I arrived in Florence, this feeling of being home has been strong within me. It’s not a feeling that I had ever felt before or even searched for. I thought that wherever I was living was home. But I learned that that wasn’t the case.

I have been busy these past few days meeting up with friends, watching the Fiorentina play at the stadio (stadium), and just walking around the city. In the five days that I have been here, time has gotten ahead of me. So much so that I’ve had to make lists of what I need to do. Yesterday I was so motivated to take off a few things from my list that I was out of the house by 8:30 am. After having my morning cappuccino, I walked down Borgo degli Albizi while biciclette (bicycles) whizzed past me ringing their bells.

The narrow street, still untouched by the sun, was quiet nonetheless. Most of the negozi (shops) were closed with many negozianti (shopkeepers) cleaning up before opening up. The first negozio I got to had a sign that said it wouldn’t be open until 10:30 am, the second and third one at 10 am. I forgot that shops don’t open before 10 am. The only places open were bars, museums, churches, and public offices. Even though I accomplished nothing on my list, I did accomplish one thing: I experienced my beloved city while it was just waking up.

I always feel as if my time in Florence is limited even though m y time is almost equally divided between Florence and Paris. When I am in my beloved city, I feel a greater desire to do more, see more, and visit more. I become much more active and want to experience more.

Even though I can easily lose myself in my beloved city and can feel the time slip through my fingers, I enjoy every precious moment that I am here. Being in Florence is a gift that I cherish.

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