by Melinda Gallo

I always forget how delicious domenica (Sunday) is until I am back in Florence. I usually only spend one Sunday a month here, but it is by far the most delightful day of the week. Donít get me wrong: I love the other days too. I like Mondays because they mark the beginning of the week and the door to possibilities; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays because I am in the flow; Fridays because I daydream about the weekend; and Saturdays because I accomplish my personal goals and prepare myself for the next week. And then thereís Sunday, which is the day I get to relax, take care of myself, spend time with loved ones, and luxuriate in any way I see fit.

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When I woke up this morning, I felt as if my life finally made sense. Iíve been trying to balance my two cities and to live fully in both for the past year and a half. It hasnít been simple because I thought I had to choose one over the other, but I love them both for different reasons. Each city has its dominant energy: Florenceís is feminine and Parisís is masculine. For me, these two polar opposites translate into two states: passive and active. Being and doing.

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This morning I intended on going for a cappuccino in Piazza della Signoria since my favorite place is closed for the next two weeks. When I arrived I the piazza, I noticed that it was closed. My only plan B was to go much farther away to CaffŤ Giacosa. I didnít really have the time, but I rushed over anyway because I love the caffŤ and the paste (pastries).

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Itís only when I interact with people in both of my cities on the same day that I realize some major differences. Normally, I accept each culture quite easily and get into the rhythm of the city rather quickly. However, on the day that I travel from one to the other, I stumble through the transition.

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Even though I rarely ever make New Yearís resolutions, I decided that this year I wanted to set a few intentions for 2014. When I think of resolutions, I usually think of things I need or want to improve, but this year isnít about improvement as much as it is about setting a new path for myself and walking down it. This year, I want to be more proactive by defining goals and focusing on them until I complete them.

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Living in Florence :: The magic of my two cities

After spending the holidays with my beau and my sister and her family in both Florence and Paris, I thought about my two cities a little differently. My sister told me how she experienced Florence and Paris and that spawned me to think about them too. I generally try to accept and appreciate my cities as I would a person, and rarely thought to compare them to each other in detail. Living in both cities is a source of great joy for me.

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