by Melinda Gallo

Basking in Florenceís energy

I plan out my weekends in Florence like most people plan out their vacations. I make mental lists of what I want to see, eat, and visit. The past couple of days, Iíve only been able to go out for brief periods of time due to my work obligations. At night, however, Iíve been walking around the piazze and streets to reacquaint myself with my beloved cityís energy.

It has not been easy for me to be away from Florence for six weeks. When I left mid-July, the tourist season was in full swing even though the cityís energy was beginning to wind down for the summer. Now that Iím back, I can feel that initial thrust when everything starts back up: school is back in session and all the businesses have reopened. There is a vibrant energy that is just so delicious to be a part of and absorb.

Even though I am generally not an active participant in the rientro (return from the holidays), this year I am. To not be in Florence for the entire month of August is normal for most of the Florentines, but for me itís unheard of. In the 10 years that Iíve been here, Iíve rarely gone away in August. I generally love being in Florence when itís slumbering. Itís inconvenient though because so many negozi (shops) are closed, but I like the stillness that surrounds the city.

While Iíve been walking around town, many people in the streets are sporting their lovely tans and still wearing their summer clothes (shorts, tank tops, light dresses, and sandals). Itís a joy to not feel lethargic while the weather still reminds us that summer wasnít that far away and is just about to end.

I am eager to walk down along the Arno for the joy of it and to check out the centro (downtown area) to see what has changed since I was last here. Things change quickly here and usually in just a couple of weeks, I can see shops and restaurants that closed and reopened.

When I look out my apartment window, I can almost hear the clear blue sky and the almost still Arno calling me outside. Itís time to enjoy my beloved city and bask in its energy.

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