by Melinda Gallo

Loving the Arno River in Florence

I love the Arno. I often take photos of the Arno River because I love how captivating it is. Besides the lovely reflections of the bridges and buildings on both sides of the river, I also enjoy seeing the different colors bouncing off the sky and onto the Arnoís glimmering surface. I love how mysterious the Arno is because it looks calm on the surface and yet underneath it is certainly tumultuous.

Living in Florence :: Loving the Arno River in Florence

I didnít grow up next to a river although ever since I moved overseas I have always lived in locations with a river running through them. I lived in Lyon, France, which has two rivers (the RhŰne and the SaŰne); Paris with the Seine; Hampton Court with the Thames River; and now Florence.

I have always admired the rivers in each of these locations; however, I never appreciated them as much as I do now. The Arno has taught me a lot about admiring the river for a longer period of time and opening my senses even more so as to better appreciate its beauty.

When I walk along the river or over the bridges in Florence, I always look at the Arno. I enjoy stopping for a few moments to really admire and appreciate the river. I usually take numerous photos of the Arno and study them when I return home. I love flipping through my photos and noticing certain details, like when the sky and the Arno appear as one or when the city is duplicated on the surface of the river.

I also enjoy standing next to the weirs in the Arno so I can listen to the water flowing. I have recorded the sounds of the river a few times so I can listen to them at home although itís not the same without the birds flying overhead, the wind blowing past me, the cars and motorini whizzing by, and sometimes even the church bells ringing. The experience of standing next to the Arno to take it all in is a magical experience.

A few people have told me that they donít like the Arno. I can understand because I donít think I thought the Arno was beautiful initially. It wasn't until I began to really take the time to truly connect with it. The Arno has taught me that to see beauty, I must open my heart even wider and allow beauty to unveil itself to me.

Personally, I could not imagine Florence without the Arno. I feel Florence is more alive and magical thanks to the river. While the city goes through only a few transformations throughout the year, it endures multiple ones every day thanks to the Arno.

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