by Melinda Gallo

Florence still takes my breath away

The other day I was standing outside a friendís door on via dei Servi waiting to be buzzed in and I saw the Duomo at the end of the street. I was so taken by the view and the way the sun was shining on the street that I took a photo. It got me thinking about just how incredibly fortunate I am to enjoy so much beauty. Instead of going home directly after my appointment, I walked around the Duomo to admire it in its entirety. I was so taken by its beauty that I almost didnít notice how crowded it was in front of the Duomo. When I finally looked around me, I saw tourists huddled in groups, bikes zigzagging around us, and horse drawn carriages ringing their bells and making their way through the crowds.

Living in Florence :: Florence still takes my breath away

Florence is a masterpiece in and of itself. Its placement couldnít be more perfect: itís nestled in a valley surrounded by low hills on one side and mountains in the distance on the other side, it has an ever-changing river that flows through the city, and it has a large variety of trees and flowers. If you add to that all of the man-made beauty, like the monuments, churches, museums, statues, and bridges, you quickly realize that this city is just overflowing with beauty. And to top it all off, Mother Nature definitely enhances her beauty especially at sunrise and sunset.

Every day I am outside strolling around the streets, through Piazza della Signoria, past the Duomo, and across Ponte Vecchio, but I still catch myself at times in complete awe of Florence. I am not infatuated by her beauty, but honestly feel a strong bond with her. I donít just see her beauty, but I feel it deeply as if I were receiving a gift every time.

I never tire of Florence. Even when I take a photo from the exact same spot, it seems different to me each time. The view always looks different to me especially because it depends on the amount of people around, the time of day, and even the weather.

Even though I have been living in Florence for many years, I still make time every day to appreciate my beloved city. I walk around with my iPhone in my pocket and take photos whenever Iím inspired to do so. I rarely go out to take a specific picture; I let myself be guided by what pleases me in the moment.

I feel that Florenceís beauty can sometimes be so overwhelming that I almost have to choose to not take it all in. Itís not easy to do, but sometimes I get distracted and look at the people in the streets or the shop windows. But, honestly, once I walk along the river or through a piazza, I canít help but be moved by Florenceís charm.

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