by Melinda Gallo

The moment I step foot on the plane, I begin my transition to the city I’m flying to. Yesterday I took off for Paris for a couple of weeks. To the stewardess who greeted me at the entrance of the plane, I immediately spoke French, “Bonjour.” It’s one small shift that then puts in motion many others, which tend to occur slowly as I fly over Italy and then France.

Read More

Many fiorentini (Florentines) have taken off to enjoy cooler temperatures and fresher air this week, but I prefer to stay in town. It may be hot in the afternoons, but the streets are much quieter. It’s a dream to walk around the city with so few cars and motorini (scooters) passing by. To enjoy the quiet Florentine evening, my girlfriend suggested that we go to the terrazza (terrace) of the Grand Hotel Baglioni so that we could catch a glimpse of my beloved city from another location.

Read More

With ferragosto (mid-August holiday) tomorrow, Florence has become even quieter this week. Many of the fiorentini (Florentines) have left the city and are cooling off al mare (on the seaside) or sulle montagne (in the mountains). Many shops and restaurants are closed for their annual summer break and the streets beyond the centro storico (historical center) are virtually empty. This morning, I was eager to take a walk along the Arno River where I had run yesterday so that I could enjoy the view a little more and take a few photos. I haven’t had the opportunity to enjoy my beloved city as much with all my recent travels.

Read More

My new blog marks the beginning of my new life. I had written in my “Living in Florence” blog that I felt as if I ended an entire book, not just a chapter of my life. So it is no surprise that I am now writing in a new blog as well. I carefully chose the day that I would start my new blog as well as the days of my first two entries. My dad’s birthday was the day I chose to begin my new blog. My mother’s birthday was the date I chose to publish my first entry on Paris because she loved Paris so much, and for my entry on Florence I chose Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici’s birthday. Anna Maria Luisa was the last of the Medici family who donated her family’s art collection to the city of Florence.

Read More

I moved to Florence the first time one month before my 30th birthday. It was a significant time in my life when I had to choose between living a classic life or the life I had always dreamed of. I chose the dream and have been ecstatic ever since. I was only able to stay in Florence for two years before moving back to the US for five years where my life went through drastic and intense changes. In 2004, I returned to Florence (the city of rebirths) in the hopes of healing my broken heart and finding myself again.

Read More

I've been living in Florence since 2004 and traveling to Paris for work almost every month since the beginning of 2011. It was only recently that I decided to embrace my life in both cities. I initially thought that I had to choose one place to be my home, but I now feel that I can choose both. By doing so, I am able to appreciate each one more fully. This transition seemed natural to me especially because I believe that love allows us to encompass more in our lives, not less.

Read More

These past few months, I have been a bit silent on my blog. Besides my need to adjust to the important shifts that have occurred in my life, I’ve been feeling restricted by my blog. Now that I spend half my time living in Paris, I felt that I couldn’t write about my experiences there because the focus of my blog is Florence. For this reason, I am stopping this blog and am starting a new one tomorrow. My new blog is called “My Heart in Two Places” and my intention is to write about my life in my two favorite and beloved cities: Florence and Paris.

Read More

Returning to Florence is something I always look forward to. I enjoy my time no matter where I am, but there is nothing like coming back to Florence. My beloved city has a way of welcoming me that I appreciate. I always feel safe and loved in her arms. The minute I walk out of the airplane, I look at the mountains in the distance and take in a deep breath. This time, the warm air surrounded me and filled my lungs. My body softened and a smile spread across my lips. All I could think was, “I am home.”

Read More