by Melinda Gallo

Living in Florence :: Celebrating the Florentine's 100th edition

When I received word that The Florentine was hosting an aperitivo to celebrate their 100th edition, I immediately marked it down on my calendar. I couldn't wait to celebrate the paper that has been a joy to read since it first started back in 2005. I don't think I know one single English-speaking person living here who doesn't read it. For tonight's aperitivo I assumed that many people I knew would probably be there, and I wasn't wrong.

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Living in Florence :: Coppa della Champions League in Palazzo Vecchio

Last night Alessandro told me that the Coppa della Champions League, the most prestigious prize in European Soccer, was going to be on display at Palazzo Vecchio for two days. I had only ever seen the coppa (cup) on TV as it was being given to the winning team. The calciatori (soccer players) hug and kiss it while tears of joy fall from their eyes. I was so excited that the Coppa della Champions League would be in Florence, that I ran out this morning to see it.

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My friend Erin and I met at Ponte alle Grazie for our first long run together. Because we are planning to run in the Guarda Firenze corsa (race) next month, we decided to try to train together to be ready for it. We both separately run 3-5 kilometers a few times a week, but today we decided to run part of the percorso (route) of the corsa that leads up to Piazzale Michelangiolo. The Guarda Firenze is a 10 kilometer corsa, which seemed daunting to us initially until we completed our run today.

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Living in Florence :: Giardino Bardini for a relaxing stroll

Today I decided to treat myself to a stroll in Giardino Bardini. With the sun shining brightly in the sky above, I walked along the Arno and across Ponte alle Grazie. Just one small block from the ponte (bridge) is the entrance to the giardino (garden). After entering the building, I headed up the steps to the giardino where the lush green grass showed off the colorful irises and other flowers, birds were chirping, and a handful of tourists were wandering around to take in the views of the city.

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I am happy to announce my new website, Dining in Florence. It allows you to search for restaurants by type, area, cuisine, and meal, which is incredibly handy when looking for a place for brunch. If you create a free account, you can post reviews and create a list of favorites where you can even add a ranking and comment for each of your favorites. Once you have a list, you can share the link with friends and family for them to view and/or print like my own personal page as an example on the site.

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My third expat article just appeared in The Florentine's 100th edition. I am so happy to be a part of our highly revered, local English-speaking paper. I know that the paper finds its way into many people's hands: expats, tourists, and people who have fallen in love with the city. I read it to keep abreast with what is going on in Florence, and am able to learn a lot as well. The expat interviews that I write are a joy to me because I'm able to talk with other people who now call Florence their home. In my series, I choose to focus on the path each person has taken to get here and what they now do in Florence.

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This weekend I went to a seminario (seminar) near San Gimigniano that my acupuncturist Andrea was giving. It was called "Conoscersi per trovare la serenitŗ Knowing oneself to find serenity." Because I benefitted from my sedute di agopuntura (acupuncture appointments), I thought it'd be interesting to hear more of what Andrea believes. He had mentioned a few things to me that I found interesting in medicina cinese (Chinese medicine), like the different body types and the flow of energy in the body.

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Because my friend Erin and I are planning on running in the Guarda Firenze corsa (race) next month, I decided that I have to run some more in salita (uphill). I know our corsa will lead us up to Piazzale Michelangiolo, so I figured that today would be a good day to try running up there. I had never run up to the piazzale before so I was a little nervous but also excited to try.

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Living in Florence :: Robert Hellenga at the British Institute

At the British Institute today, I met up with my friend Lisa to see Robert Hellenga who was reading from his new book The Italian Lover. Lisa told me about the event and lent me his book to read last week, so I was looking forward to see him. While I walked to the British Institute, the sun was shining brightly and the hope of spring was in the air.

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Living in Florence :: Beauty all around

I sometimes see things that I fine beautiful and I wish I had my macchina fotografica (camera) with me. For a few days I've been running past this brick wall near my house right before the Ponte alle Grazie, and I've seen these metal boxes with the city's giglio (lily). I went back out later today and knelt down to take a photo of it. I loved the colors of the imperfect bricks, the door being on sideways, and the moss growing out of the wall.

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Living in Florence :: Fiorentina soccer match donates proceeds to Aquila

Alessandro and I weren't planning on going to yesterday's partita (soccer match) between the Fiorentina and Cagliari. However, when they announced that the proceeds would be donated to the people of Aquila after the devastating terremoto (earthquake), I ran out to buy tickets straightaway. Normally Alessandro buys the tickets for us, but he told me where to go to get them in Piazza della Repubblica, so I decided to walk over myself on Friday.

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Living in Florence :: Museo Stefano Bardini

Last week while I was working at my desk, I saw out of the corner of my eye a long blue banner being placed on the side of a building. The sign said Museo Stefano Bardini. I stopped working immediately and searched the Internet to find more information about when it would open to the public. I had read that the museo (museum) was going to open this year, and had planned on going as soon as it opened. And today, only six days after it officially opened, was my chance to visit it.

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Today the second article in my "Expat Profiles" series just came out in the latest issue of The Florentine. I have talked to a few friends and fellow expats since the first article appeared, and the response has been positive. Many people, like me, are interested in hearing about how people made their way to Florence.

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On my run the other day, a thick fog blanketed the city and when I ran over Ponte Vecchio, I couldn't even see the top of the Duomo. The city seemed different to me, but it forced me to look at the buildings that were closer to me instead of what was out in the distance. I couldn't see the hills around the city or even Piazzale Michelangiolo. Today, however, everything was different: the sun was shining brightly above the hills to the east and I could see all around me and even hills and monuments in the distance.

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I hadn't been to the Teatro Verdi on via dei Benci in about 10 years when I went to see Stomp. Alessandro had talked about wanting to to go the teatro (theatre) to see Enrico Brignano, an Italian comico (comedian). I finally stopped off at the box office earlier this week to buy tickets. As I expected, there were only a few tickets left, but we ended up getting two seats together.

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