by Melinda Gallo

Living in Florence :: Capturing every moment of joy

The times we are all living in are challenging and intense. This morning when I opened my windows and saw the blanket of gray clouds overhead, I smiled. Not because the sun might not make its appearance today, but because I am healthy and alive. In the past couple of days, however, the energy has shifted here in my area of Florence. It feels slightly more somber than before.

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Living in Florence :: Finding solace in isolation

Every morning, I wake up to the sound of the water flowing over the weir below Ponte alle Grazie. I used to only hear it only if I focused on it or in the wee hours of the night, rarely during the day like I do now. I welcome the sound of the church bells ringing every hour because they remind me that Florence is still spreading her love.

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Living in Florence :: Embracing the lockdown

The church bells chimed throughout the city this morning, calling parishioners to church. It’s a sweet reminder of what our daily life once was in Florence. The freedom to stroll through the streets and piazzas at any time has now been replaced with direct routes to buy necessities and return home. I can now calculate the time I spend outdoors in minutes per week instead of hours per day.

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Living in Florence :: Making the most of our quiet down period

This lockdown seems to be more of a quiet down period for us. Florence feels like she’s in hibernation with all the shops, cafés, and restaurants being closed. The streets, piazzas, and bridges are empty; however, we’re still able to go outside for a stroll alone, walk the dog, and purchase necessities. When I need to go outside, I keep away from the typically denser areas around Piazza della Signoria, Duomo, and Piazza Repubblica. I prefer to not encounter too many people if I can. It’s hard enough along the Arno to stay at least a meter from someone else that walking down a narrow street is even more complicated.

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Living in Florence :: Send us love, not sadness

Everyone keeps telling me they’re sad for Florence and Italy. Lockdown is an inconvenience, but it is a protective measure for our country and our citizens. If you want to be sad, be sad about the people who are suffering right now from this pandemic, teetering between life and death, and those who have already died.

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Living in Florence :: Returning to the lockdown in Florence

I only left Florence for a few days to celebrate my beloved’s birthday in Germany. The streets of Florence had grown quiet as many tourists and foreign students departed from the city daily. On Monday, the night before I was to return to Florence, Italy announced a lockdown until April 3rd.

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Living in Florence :: Admiring the full moon above the Ponte Vecchio

A few weeks ago, I walked to Ponte Santa Trinita to watch the sunset. I hadn’t gone back to the bridge until a few clouds were in the sky. Clear skies are nice, but sunsets are more colorful when there are clouds overhead. By the early evening, the clouds had thinned out and dissipated as the sun was setting. 

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