by Melinda Gallo

March 25th is a special date in Florence: itís líanno nuovo fiorentino (the Florentine new year), which is the day that Florentines used to celebrate the coming of the new year until 1750. I read about it in a Florence and its festivals flyer at the beginning of the year, and was then reminded in an article in The Florentine. The same date marks the beginning of my relationship with mio marito (my husband), Alessandro three years ago.

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Living in Florence :: One of my favorite views

Sometimes I think I could stand in the same spot every day and take the same exact foto (photo). At different times of the day and during the different seasons, it's always stunning. The attached foto is probably one of my favorite views because of all the elements it captures: the Arno, the reflection of Palazzo Serristori, the small park in Piazza Demidoff and the San Miniato chiesa (church) above. I couldnít resist taking a foto today because the Arno was so still that the reflection of the palazzo was almost perfect.

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Living in Florence :: Always time for a photo

From every angle, Florence is breathtakingly beautiful. The word ďbeautifulĒ certainly doesnít do it justice because the word is overused, and because the cityís charms are much deeper than what is visible. Today on my way home from a couple of appointments, I pulled my macchina fotografica (camera) from my bag and took a foto (picture). I wasnít planning to take any foto today, but had my macchina fotografica on me for an intervista (interview) I had to do. While I was walking down the lungarno (road along the Arno river), I was so taken by the veduta (view) that I felt compelled to take a foto.

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Most people say that if they had more time, theyíd travel to other countries more. But it if I had more time, I would explore my beloved city more. There are still museums that I havenít been to, streets I havenít walked down, churches I havenít entered, monuments I havenít fully appreciated, and areas Iíve only had a taste of.

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I have never been to a degustazione dei vini (wine tasting) in Florence before yesterday. Iíve seen so many enoteche (wine shops) in town when I walk around, but have always felt intimidated to walk in for a degustazione dei vini. Yesterday I went because Iím helping out a friend create a specialized tour in Florence. We had been around town a few times to look at different enoteche. We picked ItalianLoves because another friend of mine opened it up and we liked the fact Lorenzo, a sommelier, works there. At 10:30 am we arrived to begin our degustazione dei vini. We walked into the enoteca and Lorenzo invited us to sit in the back area where they have a bar set up.

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Recently I was interviewed by Marco de la Pierre from DotFlorence, and the result has just been published today. I had the questions in Italian and responded in both Italian and English. Usually I do the interviewing, so it was interesting for me to see what questions were asked of me. I was flattered to be asked by Marco, and am very happy with the result. I was especially pleased to be called a ragazza (girl) and also a new fiorentina (Florentine)!

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Living in Florence :: A stroll in Giardino Bardini

Itís a cold and sunny morning today and I had this great desire to go out to see my beloved city. I had thought initially about going to the Piazzale Michelangiolo, but decided against it because it can be too busy with tourists and wedding parties taking foto (photos). I suddenly thought about going to Giardino Bardini because of its quietness. I can see a part of it from our apartment and I saw that the hillsides are now green even though many of the trees still donít have leaves.

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Living in Florence :: Visiting Museo Orsanmichele

I had been wanting to visit the Orsanmichele museo (museum) since I returned from my trip to the US. Normally my Mondays are busy with things I need to do to start the week. Fortunately today was the first Monday I had time to to visit the museo of my favorite chiesa (church). I was even more fortunate because the sun was peeking out of the clouds this morning. The chiesa is in a tall building, which used to be a granaio (granary) and consists of three levels: the chiesa on the ground floor, the museo where all the original statues are housed on the middle floor, and a large room at the top that offers a 360į panorama of the city.

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