Back to running

At 7:15am this morning I was outside, warming up for my run along the Arno. I hadnít been out running in months and have been waiting to go out for some time now. I put on my music and away I went. At this early morning hour, there were fewer cars and even fewer people walking about. I love looking around especially at the river and up to San Miniato once I am sure that the cobblestone sidewalk below my feet is stable.

My favorite part of my run is crossing Ponte San NiccolÚ because I can see the Duomo as well as the backside of the facciata (faÁade) of Santa Croce. At the end of the ponte (bridge), the sidewlk slopes down and gives me extra momentum. Unfortunately it only lasts a little while, but I try to stretch it out as long as I can.

On the Oltrarno side of the river, the sidewalk is split in two: one half for bikes and the other half for pedestrians. I stick to the right side near the low brick wall to avoid the bikes that come from behind me and speed past.

I push myself to Ponte alle Grazie and stop once I cross the strisce (crosswalk). Instead of walking straight home, I decide to walk to Ponte Vecchio and cool down.

Now that the tourist season is in full swing, I have either avoided Ponte Vecchio altogether or just kept focused on getting across without bothering to look around.

As I approached the ponte I got a little excited about seeing it with relatively no one on it. The street cleaners were walking toward me, chatting to each other and sweeping the sidewalks, while a little car with huge brushes cleaned the street. The cobblestones were wet and looked shiny in the sunlight.

I loved seeing the closed wooden doors of the jewelry shops. I had taken a photo and posted it in my article that I posted last year on the Florence from the Heart site. I didnít even look up at the Duomo in the distance until I turned the corner to walk under the Vasari Corridor.

Once I was under the corridor, I felt a surge of joy. I hadnít been able to walk under the Vasari Corridor for months without being forced out onto the street because of all the slow-moving tourists.

I walked along the Arno to my piazza and stretched out. It was only my first day out running today, but I canít wait to go later this week. I look forward to when I build up my stamina to run across the Ponte Vecchio because that is one of my favorite experiences of running in Florence.

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