by Melinda Gallo

Running along the Arno before taking off

Today was my last day in Florence and I began it with a run along the Arno. During my stay home, I headed up to the Piazzale Michelangiolo for each of my morning runs. However, because it was a little chillier than it has been, I decided to stick to the centro (downtown area). When I arrived at the end of Ponte alle Grazie, I turned right and headed toward the Ponte Vecchio, which looked like it was lit up by the sun that was just coming up.

Living in Florence :: Running along the Arno before taking off

On my run, my iPhone lightly tapped against my hip. It felt like it was reminding me that it was there so I wouldn’t forget to take a photo or two. I had seen other runners stop abruptly to take a picture, but I couldn’t imagine doing it myself. I am generally pretty focused on my run especially since I also have to look out for pedestrians and cars while still admiring the view.

After passing through Borgo San Jacopo, I turned right toward Ponte Santa Trinita and was reunited with the sun. I ran across the crosswalk and thanked a man for stopping to let me go by. I couldn’t wait to get close to the Arno again.

I looked up from the narrow sidewalk with cars zipping past me on one side and the Arno river on the other. I kept running farther along the Arno so that I could get a view of the Ponte Vecchio. I turned my head around a few times to catch a glimpse of it. I passed the Ponte alla Carraia and went to the Ponte Vespucci to get an even wider perspective of my beloved city.

I must have stopped about six times to take pictures of my beloved city. I loved seeing the sun in front of me, the city almost in the shadows with the hills behind looking more like a flat backdrop than the luscious Tuscan countryside.

Running for me is always a joy and mixing it now with taking photos along the way is like a double whammy. I’m definitely going to find a way to bring my iPhone with me on my runs from now. I used to not like stopping when I run, but I actually felt freer and more fluid for allowing myself to just be, to do what pleases me, and to capture the beauty I see.

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