by Melinda Gallo

I realized only this morning why I am slow to start my week when Monday arrives. Iím usually motivated Sunday to get the week going, but I wake up and donít feel motivated to go out. Besides the hairdressers being closed all day, many of the shops around town are also closed in the morning. Itís as if the city is still slumbering until well after lunch. I thought I was just having Monday blues, but I think now that it has to do with the city not being completely awake yet.

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Living in Florence :: 8th edition of Corri la Vita

At 9:30am, thousands of people met in Piazza della Signoria for the 8th edition of Corri la Vita. When we began the passeggiata (walk), we were barely moving. I met up with friends, but after ten minutes they left because we were going so slow. It took at least 10 minutes to walk to Ponte Vecchio with the large crowds and people walking with bambini (babies) in passeggini (strollers) and cani (dogs).

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Living in Florence :: A late sunset

This evening as the sun was setting, I ran outside to Ponte alle Grazie to take a few shots of the tramonto (sunset). I wish I had my camera on the first night we returned because the sky was an incredible shade of pink and orange. I was happy to catch tonightís tramonto because I hadnít had time since I returned to see it.

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Even if the actual center of the city is the Abbondanza statue in Piazza Repubblica, my sense was that the Duomo was more at the center of the city. Today, however, while I was standing on the Ponte Vecchio, I felt that the center might just be this ponte (bridge) because it connects the two halves of the city: the intellectual side with the artistic side.

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Living in Florence :: A trip to Miami Beach

Alessandro and I flew to Miami last Tuesday. We had enjoyed our trip to Miami Beach so much last year that we returned this year. After enjoying a quiet August in Florence, we took off before everything gets back to normal. We returned this afternoon to a sunny and warm Florence, which surprised me since I read that it had rained. While we were in the taxi coming home, I breathed in my city and stared out at the buildings, and felt joyful to be home.

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All my friends know that Sundays are sacred to me. They know that I save my Sundays for my family: my suoceri (in-laws) and my marito (husband). I am lucky to have such a great relationship with my suoceri; I'd never miss a lunch with them. For me, Sundays with my suoceri are much more than just sharing a wonderful lunch, it's also a time for us to connect and talk about the days since we last met up.

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While most of my photos of Florence exclude people, my life here certainly does not. On a walk the other day, I stood up at the Piazzale Michelangiolo and looked down on my beloved city. I can certainly appreciate its beauty and try to capture it in a photo, but I canít share the true feelings I have for the city and its inhabitants. The city is filled with beauty: palazzi (buildings), chiese (churches), piazze, and monuments. I believe that I would still find the city beautiful because of the energy it conveys.

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On my walk yesterday, I strolled through Piazza del Carmine and saw that they had just repainted one of my favorite palazzi (buildings). I was disappointed that they had painted it because I loved the pastel-colored cracked paint of the facciata (faÁade). Every time I found myself in the piazza, I would stop to admire it. I tried to find a picture I had taken of it last year, but I couldnít find it.

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