by Melinda Gallo

Only a couple of times a year the city organizes days when they shut down the centro (city center) to traffic. From our apartment, not a single macchina (car) or motorino (scooter) drives by. I can hear the water flowing down the embankment, the campane (bells) of the chiesa (church) chiming on the hour, and the birds chirping in the trees across the piazza. It is a joy to wake up to such peacefulness and still be in the centro.

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Living in Florence :: Appreciating the beauty of my beloved city

Love is not something I place in my pocket and forget about. Love is a feeling I cultivate, enjoy, give, receive, share, and appreciate. Thatís why I donít sit back and wait for my beloved city to please me. I seek Florenceís beauty everywhere, praise it and appreciate it. Last night as the sun was setting, I felt a great desire to go out and take some pictures. With my new obiettivo (lens), I hadnít tried to take any night shots. The light outside looked so delightful that I couldnít wait to get out.

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Living in Florence :: Enjoying the city and its statues

Today I was in the need to do something to bring me a little joy. When I was thinking of what to do, the Bargello came to my mind. I had been wanting to go for a visit ever since I returned from the US earlier this month. Itís a place I enjoy even if I only walk by and peek into the windows. I walked in this morning and sat down to contemplate the marble and bronze statues, which are my favorites.

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A lot of my friends donít understand my love for the Fiorentina, Florenceís squadra di calcio (soccer team). I was never a big tifosa (fan) of any squadra before even though I have always loved calcio (soccer). I used to only watch the big partite di calcio (soccer matches), like the World Cup. But since Iíve been in Florence, my love for calcio and especially the Fiorentina has grown greatly. Yesterday, I finally got to go to a home partita and felt such great joy to be there to cheer on my squadra with thousands of other tifosi in the Curva Fiesole.

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Living in Florence :: Making time

Ever since I have returned to Florence, Iíve been so busy that i havenít had much time to enjoy my beloved city. Besides the work that piled up in my absence, I had articles to write, interviews to do, and other projects to work on. I havenít even had much time to visit with my friends either these past few days. Today, however, I finally made some time to walk around a bit and take a couple of foto (photos) before meeting up with a friend for a caffŤ (coffee).

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Living in Florence :: Strolling the streets

For the first day this week I have finally found time to walk around Florence. I had no plans when I left our apartment and found myself going in many directions. I love strolling the streets and just seeing where my heart leads me. I had my macchina fotografica (camera) in hand equipped with my new obiettivo (lens) that I bought in the US on my last trip. I not only wanted to try it out, but I also wanted to see what my beloved city would look like.

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I just got back from my trip to California. This last trip was probably one of my most memorable because of all the people--both old and new--that I connected with. The first thing I did when I got home today was look out our window to see the Arno. Alessandro told me that it had rained a lot while I was gone, but the level of the water wasnít that high and the color of the water was a cool green.

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