Basking in tranquil moments

After the celebrations, the city seemed to be on a break. Shops were closed and streets were calm. I enjoyed my time strolling around Florence and basking in her energy. My many highlights include glimpsing the cupola above the holiday lights, spotting a crow perched on a lamppost, watching the sunset from Ponte Santa Trinita, and catching another one the next day along Ponte alle Grazie.

Living in Florence :: Basking in tranquil moments

Even though 2024 has begun with little fanfare, the quiet streets invite me to revel in my beloved city and indulge in moments that uplifted me.

Via dello Studio — January 13, 2024
The moment I turned the corner of Via dello Studio, my gaze focused on the Duomo. Its terracotta cupola dominated the clear blue sky and uplifted my spirits.

Living in Florence, Italy :: Via dello Studio

A whirl of cool air passed by me, jostling the holiday decorations still strewn between the buildings.

At the intersection of Via delle Oche, I stood on the sidewalk to take in my surroundings. Tourists meandered around the Duomo and peeked into shop windows while cars rounded the bend.

The afternoon sun illuminated the city, but offered only a hint of warmth. I left my spot and headed home, keeping to the sunnier side, where many were also walking.

Even though I avoid the shadowy streets in the winter, this one always delights me.

Lungarno Diaz — January 14, 2024
This morning, the sky was a blanket of gray. As I hurried down the lungarno, I admired the more brightly colored buildings and monuments. I walked alongside Santo Spirito down an uneven stone road to arrive in the bustling piazza.

Living in Florence, Italy :: Lungarno Diaz

I welcomed the misty rain landing on my face as I perused the stalls in the mercato. Some people sat in the outdoor terraces sipping drinks and having lunch, while others checked out the vintage clothes, antiques, and jewelry on sale.

As the raindrops became larger, I headed home. Instead of walking across Ponte Santa Trinita, I walked down Borgo San Jacopo and turned onto the Ponte Vecchio. From behind Cellini and under the Corridoio Vasariano, a few people snapped photos. 

I breathed in the refreshing air as I passed the Uffizi, where people were lined up under the loggia. Seagulls swooped down and landed on the brick wall in search of crumbs to eat.

While staring at San Miniato al Monte in the distance, I spotted a crow atop the streetlight. Without hesitation, I snapped a photo as a memento of my outing.

Ponte Santa Trinita — January 17, 2024
While strolling up Lungarno degli Acciaiuoli, I spotted two oche egiziane (Egyptian geese) perched on the red brick wall. A few people gathered to take photos of the rare birds.

Living in Florence, Italy :: Ponte Santa Trinita

I arrived at my spot on Ponte Santa Trinita just an hour before sunset. The billowy clouds morphed into different shapes and sizes within a matter of minutes. The weak sunlight grazed them just enough to bathe them with a lemony hue.

As I watched the canottieri (rowers) sail up and down the ripply Arno, I breathed in the refreshing scent, wafting up from the Arno.

A photographer stood alongside me to take pictures of a couple across the bridge. When I glanced at the viewfinder, the couple was perfectly centered in front of the Ponte Vecchio.

Seagulls soared in a V formation toward the west, starlings moved in murmurations on both sides of the river, and a lone cormorant flew east.

At different intervals, I snapped photos of the lively sky. I stayed until the sky turned gray. The sunset occurred with little fanfare, but I savored it all the same.

Ponte alle Grazie — January 18, 2024
While crossing Ponte alle Grazie this afternoon, I was mesmerized by the riverscape. I couldn’t have timed it better to arrive during the golden hour. I should have known that my timing was impeccable when I saw two professional photographers snapping photos of their clients.

Living in Florence, Italy :: Ponte alle Grazie

The water cascading over the weir lulled me to take a moment to enjoy my surroundings. A gentle breeze fluttered by as milky clouds migrated north. While leaning against the metal barrier, people passed by, chatting and taking pictures of the view.

Canottieri rowing up and down the river did not deter me from admiring the sky above the Ponte Vecchio. 

Once the sun dipped behind the palazzi, unplugging its warm light, I continued my journey home.

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