Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

In the middle of November, I wanted to write something to celebrate my nine-year anniversary of living in Florence. I almost can’t believe that nine years have passed since I moved back to Florence after my five-year hiatus in the US. Most of my family and friends in the US define me as an expat although that’s not how I would describe myself even though by definition I am an expat. For me, an expat is someone who chooses to live in another country, embraces the new culture, speaks the country’s language, and adapts to its lifestyle.

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Monday, December 9, 2013
Me, My Heart, and I :: Tapping into my beloved city

During my last trip to Florence, I got off the bus in San Frediano after going out to Scandicci for an appointment. I wanted to walk home along the Arno, enjoy some alone time, and take a few pictures. With each step, I took in the beauty of my beloved city, breathed in its crisp air and felt its energy flow through me. I crossed Ponte alla Carraia and looked over the edge to watch the water flow under my feet and head east. When I looked over at Ponte Santa Trinita and the Ponte Vecchio, I was overwhelmed with joy.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I have learned to go with the punches and not make waves. On the day I was supposed to sign the compromesso (preliminary contract/agreement to purchase), the deal fell through. The apartment I fell in love with back in August was suddenly no longer my future apartment. Technically the apartment was defined as being “commercial,” yet it was in the process of being changed to “residential.” Unfortunately, between my bank not accepting it and a miscalculation of the height of the ceilings, the chances of it becoming “residential” were practically nil. The owner wasn’t going to wait and therefore, I had to move on.

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

I love fall. And, of course, spring too. I love the seasons in which nature is quickly changing. In only a few days, we could miss it all. Today during my run along the Seine, the tree-lined path had small piles of leaves on each side. The trees, which were full of leaves only a few days ago, were almost barren. The wind and rain swept the remaining leaves off the branches and onto the path below.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Soon I’ll be celebrating my nine-year anniversary living in Florence. It’s hard to believe that nine years have gone by already. So much has happened in my life in that time. Ever since I moved to Florence the first time in 1997, I have considered Florence my home. Even though I returned to the US for a few years, Florence was still blazing in my heart and I knew that I would call it home again.

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Some days, the harmony between my beloved city and Mother Nature are so riveting that it takes my breath away. This morning when I headed out for a run and was walking on Ponte alle Grazie, I couldn’t help but stare at the Torre di San Niccolň. A dark cloud (one of the only ones in the sky) was hovering overhead and rays of sunshine were piercing through the sky shedding bright yellow beams of light down on the torre. It was one of those rare moments when I expected to hear angels to be singing.

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

This morning I went for a run under the rippled grey clouds and the Arno at my side. I enjoyed the cool air brushing against my face as I ran down the lungarno (road along the Arno). I let my thoughts swirl around me while I took in the beauty of my beloved city. With each breath, I left my stress and worries behind me.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I arrived back in Florence last Saturday. I welcomed the warm blast of air that hit me as I walked down the stairs of the airplane. After taking in one deep breath and turning around to see the sun coloring the sky, my entire body relaxed. The words “I am home” floated in my head. It’s odd for me because I feel at home in Paris especially with my beau, but Florence is my true home where I feel more relaxed, nurtured, and loved.

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

After spending almost two weeks in Florence, it wasn’t easy for me to leave my beloved city behind. Even though many of my friends were away and many of the negozi (shops) I go to were closed, I enjoyed spending time in my beloved city. It seems that no matter where I am, I miss something or someone. When I’m in Florence, I miss my beau and when I am in France, I miss my beloved city. The transition back to France is not easy even though I navigate between the two cities all the time. I go from stone to cement, and then back to stone.

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