by Melinda Gallo

Absence makes my heart grow fonder

I am often asked if I had to choose between Florence and Paris, which city would I live in. Every time, I say Florence. However, the real answer is that my love for Florence has only increased by my also living in Paris. The amount of love I have in my heart has multiplied and has not been divided. I didnít know it would be possible to have this much love in my heart for two cities.

Living in Florence :: Absence makes my heart grow fonder

I am incredibly fortunate that by having two places to live, the quality of life is even better. My time has become more precious in each city. I rarely waste time any more no matter where I am. I used to lounge around in my apartment in Florence and sometimes not even venture outside, but now that my time in Florence is so limited, I get out as much as I can.

These days I hardly ever cook for myself when I am in Florence. I either eat out with friends or go to the local rosticceria (deli) to get homemade dishes. When I'm home in Florence, I usually only make dishes that are quick, like salads and pasta. When I grab a cappuccino in the morning, I either use my time to either write or meet up with a friend. Sometimes, I walk over to the Giardino Bardini to read or write outside where the terrace cafť is up at the top. When I go running, I either run along the Arno or up to the Piazzale Michelangiolo. I never seem to do anything without also appreciating my beloved city at the same time.

Do I miss Florence when I am away? Of course I do. But I let that feeling of absence build momentum in me to create more space in my heart for love. I desire Florence when I am away, but that desire doesnít turn into longing or loss.

I have now come to like my time away from Florence because I know that I will end up appreciating my beloved city even more. And I do.

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