by Melinda Gallo

When Alessandro and I arrived in front of the Arno to run this morning, I noticed how the cielo (sky) and the Arno were the same dark blue color. As we were running, I kept looking at the Arno and then the cielo because they were both so enchanting to look at.

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There are some battles that are just not worth fighting. After having wasted months and months of time to keep my old TIM number and have it transferred to my new cell phone, I've decided to stop requesting. I have been juggling two cellulari (cell phones) since May and now nine months later, I've decided to give up.

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Living in Florence :: Palazzo Vecchio

I can't even count the number of times I've been to the Palazzo Vecchio to change my residenza (residency) or to get a new carta d'identità (ID card). But, recently, I've had to go to see if my certificato di matrimonio (wedding certificate) has been sent by the Italian Consulate in the US to the ufficio matrimoni (Office for Marriages) so that we can get our matrimonio transcribed so that we can be officially married in Italy.

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I've been told many horror stories about people not getting paid in Italy. Although to be honest, I have a few friends who do freelance work in the US and they sometimes don't get paid either. Around the 13th, I sent my first fattura (invoice) to the company that I developed a website for. I didn't work for the end-client, but for a web company. They told me that they'd pay me as soon as they received the funds from the end-client as soon as they were paid.

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Living in Florence :: An unplanned visit to Piazza Santa Croce

This morning I had a meeting with a friend to go and write together in the new biblioteca (library) on via dell'Oriuolo called Biblioteca delle Oblate. I had been looking forward to today because it's always fun to write with someone else and I had never been into this new biblioteca before. I'm not fond of making plans too far in advance because they rarely work out exactly as I had planned them. And, like most people, I prefer surprises to disappointments.

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It was just yesterday that I was hoping that the temperatures would increase. And today, my wish was granted. I love winter; however, I'm getting a little tired of having to wrap a scarf around my neck and keeping my jacket buttoned up to the top before opening my front door. We have had a few sunny days, but the air has been quite chilly nonetheless.

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Alessandro told me a few days ago that he heard on the radio that I was eligible to vote in the referendum sulla tramvia (referendum on the tram system) because I'm a legal resident. I was excited about voting in Italy for the first time and couldn't wait. The city has been tearing down trees and building the tramvia for a few years now and they finally called upon the citizens of Florence to vote. I heard that the referendum is only consultivo (advisory), which sounds like it won't change anything.

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Living in Florence :: Otto giorni di clausura

Today after otto giorni di clausura (eight days of confinement/seclusion), I finally went outside. The weather today was once again amazing. The sun was shining brightly and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. I walked through Piazza della Signoria and then across Piazza della Repubblica. I was surprised how many tourists were out because just a week ago there seemed to be fewer.

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I know of many people who have had packages and letters lost by the Posta (post office), but I seem to always keep the faith that they will eventually arrive. Sometimes things do go missing for a long time, but other times, they miraculously arrive.

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It's bad enough to get influenza (the flu), but worse when the weather outside is amazingly beautiful. I know the temperatures aren't that high; however, the clear blue sky and shining sun make me want to go outside anyway. I haven't been out my front door since Thursday when I felt the beginning of a few symptoms.

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I was happy when I heard a few months ago that I could vote online instead of sending in an absentee ballot. I heard a representative of the American Consulate in Rome say on the local news today that the overseas Americans are considered to be the 51st state.

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Living in Florence :: Another partita

It had been raining all day today and I was dreading going to the stadio (stadium) this evening for a partita (soccer match). I talked Alessandro and a friend of his into going to the game tonight. I love calcio (soccer) and went to my first partita back in 1984. I, unfortunately, never went to see the Fiorentina before I met Alessandro. And even though he used to have an abbonamento (season ticket), he didn't get one for this season. He's now wishing he did since I'm always up for going to a partita.

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I called FastWeb almost every day begging them to have someone come and look at my problem. My line had been down since Monday and I was surfing the Internet using a neighbor's open WiFi network. I admit I was lucky since I wasn't completely without Internet. Initially, I stood up near our apartment window to get a strong enough signal and eventually, I found a position where I could sit down, but work on a table with my computer on a box up against the window.

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I received a letter from the comune (town hall) where I register my residenza (residency) back in September that stated that I needed to show them my new permesso di soggiorno (permit to stay) as soon as I renewed it. So, this morning, I decided to make a quick trip to the comune, which is right around the corner from our apartment with my new permesso di soggiorno in hand.

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