by Melinda Gallo

To know Florence is to love Florence

Anyone who knows me knows that I love Florence. Even if you don't know me, itís fairly obvious. I not only write about living in Florence, but I also take pictures of the beauty around me in Florence. I donít love Florence just because of her apparent beauty; I love Florence because of how she makes me feel when I am here. Florence stirs up powerful emotions within me, she inspires me to listen more closely to my heart, she nudges me to act and speak from love, she motivates me to be sincere, and she encourages me to fully embrace who I am.

Living in Florence :: To know Florence is to love Florence

If Florence were just esthetically beautiful without its vibrant energy, I doubt I would be as attached to her as I am. I feel great joy bubble up inside of me every time I look out my apartment window, walk through the narrow streets, catch sight of a monument or church, cross a bridge, look out at the Arno river, or stroll through a piazza. Florence is like a diamond that I keep looking at from different angles to find more of her to love.

Living in Florence, I have the luxury of more time to explore her at my own pace, to admire her, and to appreciate her. I prefer to have a meaningful connection with Florence, not a superficial one. I donít just admire her beauty when I walk by, I also pause to feel the affect her beauty has on me. I enjoy indulging in a moment while contemplating Florenceís beauty. I let my eyes soak up her beauty while my heart soaks up her energy.

When I watch tourists visiting Florence, I always wonder how Florence will affect them. Some tourists might think they are just there to see all the ďsightsĒ listed in their guidebooks, but really, they are there to open themselves up to Florenceís beauty. Her beauty isnít just for their eyes, but also for their hearts. If you are open to Florenceís magic, she will awaken you to your heart and, more importantly, she will awaken you to you. It might take time for her to seep into your heart, but if youíre open to Florenceís beauty and energy, she will certainly leave her mark on you.

I truly believe that to know Florence is to love her. The more you know her, visit her, and admire her, the more you love her.

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