My Heart in Two Places

The floodgates have opened

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Pasqua (Easter) seems mark the beginning of the tourist season in Florence each year. From my last time home a couple of weeks ago to today, the number of people visiting Florence has definitely increased. While many dislike the large amounts of tourists who “invade” the city, I see their arrival more as the beginning of us sharing Florence. We’ve been fortunate to have a few quiet months in Florence since October even if the number of tourists spiked around Christmas. It’s important to appreciate the ebb and flow in Florence because the city has its seasons and rhythm like everything else. [Read More]

My flying prayers have been answered

Saturday, April 5, 2014

It’s not that I’m afraid to fly, but I honestly didn’t feel safe in the Avro RJ85 that took me between Florence and Paris. It felt a bit like an economy car that was certainly efficient, but just wasn’t as sturdy. When we hit turbulence, it felt more like we were in a car racing over a speed bump. I dislike, however, thinking that my last moment on Earth could be while sitting on an airplane with a bunch of people I don’t even know. I probably wouldn’t think so much about my mortality if everyone would stop saying, “Have a safe flight.” I used to cringe at the words and once said, “Of course I will; I’m not flying the plane.” Even though my friends mean well, that seed of fear lingered in my head for an hour and a half (the entire length of my flight between Florence and Paris). [Read More]

Ponte Vecchio as my finish line

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

For my run this morning, I headed toward Ponte San Niccolò with the sun glaring in front of me. I tried to look out at the Arno, but the cobblestone sidewalk required more of my attention at times. After crossing the ponte (bridge) and heading back toward town, I was able to take in the city monument by monument. First, I saw the Duomo, then the side of Santa Croce, and above to my left was Piazzale Michelangiolo. Then, I let my eyes fall on the torre (tower) of the Palazzo Vecchio and the Ponte Vecchio. [Read More]

Respite brings about renewed vigor

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Initially I had a few ideas of what I wanted to do on my day off. I imagined myself going to the Uffizi to admire the Nascita di Venere by Botticelli. Then, I thought I would eat lunch at one of my favorite restaurants. In the afternoon, I was hoping to enjoy a tea in the bar at the top of the Giardino Bardini while looking out at Florence. In the end, I didn’t do any of that and instead felt more inclined to walk one of my running routes along the lungarno to Ponte San Niccolò and then onto the viale (large avenue) that winds its way up to Piazzale Michelangiolo. [Read More]

Florence is my inspiration and my guide

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

When I woke up this morning, I decided to take the day off from work. I had a lot planned to do, but I wasn’t feeling very optimistic. It’s odd for me to be in Florence and not feel connected to it. I’ve been here for almost a week and just haven’t had a chance to commune with Florence alone. My beau spent the weekend with me and we were able to enjoy the sunny days in Florence over the weekend, but it wasn’t enough for me. When I am away from Florence, I feel my connection to weaken just a little bit so when I return I always feel the need to rekindle the flame I have for my beloved city. [Read More]

A weekend basking in Paris

Monday, March 10, 2014

Because I live with my beau in the suburbs of Paris, I feel as if I am completely out of touch with it now. We go in from time to time, but it feels more like a quick visit to do something specific, eat out, visit a museum, or go shopping. Each time I go, I never feel as if I have much time to truly enjoy the city, connect with it, and bask in it. I love to feel the rhythm of a place as it flows through me by watching the sun as it progresses through the sky, admiring the change in colors of the buildings, and breathing in the air. [Read More]

Tapping into Florence’s energy

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I spent very little time engaged in my beloved city when I was there a couple of weeks ago. Now that I am in France, I miss Florence. I looked out at the Arno from my apartment windows every day when I was home, but I wanted to take in the city a lot more: stroll the streets, walk along the Arno, and maybe even visit a museum. I wanted to open myself up even more to my city, savor it, and bask in it. Florence is unlike any other city I know. Its energy not only inspires me, but it uplifts me, opens my heart, and fills me up with love and joy. No other place on Earth does this for me time and time again. [Read More]

End of February, beginning of a new way

Friday, February 28, 2014

February is the shortest month of the year, but it seemed to have been the longest. In January, I was preparing for the new year by putting all my ducks in a row. As soon as February hit, everything seemed to come to a standstill. Besides being sick for the second half of the month, the lull arrived at the beginning. [Read More]

Divide and conquer

Thursday, February 20, 2014

I usually have a mental list of what I’d like to do during my trips home to Florence. I never write this list down because I prefer being flexible. I had a few plans to meet up with girlfriends, go to a Fiorentina match, see my naturopata (naturopath), get a massage, visit a few museums, go shopping, and walk around town as much as possible. I was able to do some of what I wanted initially; however, as soon as I arrived, allergies struck me. Then, on Saturday night I caught a cold and two days later, I lost my voice. [Read More]

Buona domenica!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

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. Don’t 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 there’s 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. [Read More]


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