by Melinda Gallo

Breathing in my beloved city

The spike of tourists during this holiday season seemed to be greater than I had ever experienced. I might have also noticed it more because I was walking around Florence much of the time with my beau. We could never walk hand in hand because of the crowded streets. We got jostled quite a bit and it was at times quite frustrating. My beau took off on Sunday so unfortunately he didnít get to experience my beloved city as of Tuesday evening.

Living in Florence :: Breathing in my beloved city

I walked along via Tornabuoni yesterday because I felt inundated with bad news after yesterdayís tragic events. I needed to get some fresh air, tap into my beloved cityís loving energy, and get centered. Signs on some of the shops around town announce the saldi (sales), which started a few days earlier this year, but the shops werenít as crowded as they had been at the beginning of this week.

I stood at Ponte Santa Trinita and looked toward San Frediano in Cestello. For some reason, I feel as if that church is like an anchor for me. It always infuses me with an undeniably strong sense of love. I have only visited the inside of it once, but all I need to do is look at it above the Arno and I feel its energy come over me.

I walked down the narrow cobblestone sidewalk along the Arno toward Ponte Vecchio. It was a surprise to see it practically empty and the Cellini statue in clear view. I took my time and stopped when I saw rowers going by. I was reminded how life has to be cherished in these brief moments. Itís not the large events we attend, but rather the times in which we pause and breathe in our surroundings.

After I passed the Ponte Vecchio, I kept my eye on San Miniato al Monte. I played hide and seek with it while I walked under the Vasari Corridor. I looked back a few times to catch a glimpse of the Ponte Vecchio and admired the different colored buildings stuck perfectly together. I had always wondered if such beauty is really planned or if each person built the building how they wanted to.

San Miniato al Monte is yet another anchor for me. For me, it is a symbol of hope. Its faÁade always cheers me up and reminds me that love will always prevail.

By the time I returned home, I felt revitalized. My beloved city has worked her magic on me again. It didnít take me long, but I so appreciated the time I had to admire Florence and bask in her loving energy.

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