by Melinda Gallo

Living in Florence :: Enjoying an autumnal Saturday

Some people leave the city when they have a day off, but when I have a day off, I visit my city. I had been wanting to go back to the Mostra dei Cristalli (Crystal Exhibition) since I first went in May. I thought I had missed my chance because it was supposed to end at the end of October, but fortunately it will be open until June 2010. I milled around the museo at least an hour contemplating certain cristalli (crystals). It was hard to leave, but i watned to visit the Giardino di Boboli while it was still light outside. I walked out to the courtyard of the museo and through the short passage that led to the giardino (garden).

Read More

Living in Florence :: A drive through the countryside

Our friends invited us to a birthday lunch outside of Florence today. I was excited to get out of the house since I've been staying home a lot. Every day I look out at the low hills across the stagnant Arno and crave to be outdoors. We left the house around noon and headed east. We drove along the Arno for a little while and then through some winding roads to a street that led us through vineyards and olive orchards. The colors of the vineyards struck me, so I asked Alessandro to stop the macchina (car). I jumped out to take a few foto (photos) because it was breathtakingly beautiful.

Read More

While I was flipping through the giornale (newspaper) last Sunday, I found an article about a libro (book) called "Non vi lasceṛ orfani (I won't leave you to be orphans)" by Daria Bignardi. The word orfano (orpha) struck a chord with me so I read the article. The author, an Italian giornalista (journalist), began writing this libro about her family three weeks after her mother had passed away. I saw that Daria would be speaking at the Oblate, our new biblioteca (library) on via dell'Oriuolo and I felt a great desire to see her speak.

Read More

Living in Florence :: Five years today

Five years ago today I returned to Florence and began writing my blog. As a gift to myself, I decided to buy a Fiorino (Florin). I have always wanted to buy one, but never had an occasion to do so. For me the fiorino represents my city especially since it has the giglio (fleur de lys) on one side and San Giovanni, which is Florence's patron saint, on the other.

Read More

Living in Florence :: Terrazze del Duomo

I found out about the Terrazze del Duomo (Terraces of the Duomo) by chance a few months ago. I had originally asked two different friends of mine, but we never found the time to go together. Then, just a month ago, Alessandro told me that a group of his colleghi (colleagues) had organized a visit. I was so excited to go that he signed us up the next day. Every time I walked past the Duomo these past few weeks, I have looked up to see the terrazze and tried to imagine what it would be like up there. I couldn't wait for the experience myself, so when we met up with the group in front of the Duomo, I was beside myself.

Read More

A veil of grey blanketed the city today. The hills in the distance seemed softer and faded into the sky. It was as if the city had been stranded and nothing beyond my view existed. I felt like I was in a dream where everything was hazy and unclear. After being chained to my desk working for the past two days, I finally went outside for a walk to enjoy my city.

Read More

This morning I woke up to the church bells chiming and the rain falling on the roof above my head. After I got out of bed, I stood at the window with my legs leaning against the radiator as it was warming up. The sky was a blanket of grey with the outlines of a few clouds floating slowly past while rain was falling straight down in hazy lines. The smoke billowing out of the chimney of a palazzo (building) across the Arno, which is now a dull green, caught my eye. The streets below were virtually empty with a few people walking by holding umbrellas above their heads. In Italian, it's the only day we wish for people to enjoy: "Buona Domenica (Have a good Sunday)," my friends and I say to each other. Some people make the same wish about weekends, but more do so about Sundays. When I wake up to a quiet Sunday like today, I realize that there is so much to enjoy.

Read More

Living in Florence :: Presentation of Invisible Women: Forgotten Artists of Florence

While the sun was setting behind the tall buildings in my neighborhood, I walked up via dei Neri and then up the street between the Uffizi and Palazzo Vecchio to meet my friend Lucia. We had planned to go to the first presentation of Jane Fortune's latest book, "Invisible Women: Forgotten Artists of Florence." After reading the two interviews of Jane Fortune in The Florentine in issues 110 and 111, I became very interested in the book. When I found out that the first presentation would be held in the Biblioteca degli Uffizi (Uffizi Library), I was even more excited. It's not a part of the Uffizi that is accessible to the public, so I couldn't wait to go.

Read More

I had been looking forward to seeing the play The Dumb Waiter by Harold Pinter for weeks. Not just because it was going to be in English, but also because my friend Claire was going to be performing in it. The play, which was produced by Performance International, was being offered as an AperiTeatro. I found the unique combination of an aperitivo before the spettacolo (show) an intriguing idea to say the least. I bought my ticket last week because I had to be there for the opening, which was last night.

Read More

Living in Florence :: One week later

Before having lunch with my suoceri (in-laws) today, I had time to run in centro (downtown) to check out the piazza around the Duomo that they made pedonale (pedestrian) last week. With my macchina fotografica (camera) around my neck, I left our apartment. I only had an hour to explore the area a little and take a few foto (photos). I walked down via dei Neri toward the Uffizi and passed through Piazza della Signoria, zigzagging my way through the crowds. I made a beeline for the Duomo by walking down via Calzaiuoli.

Read More