Daily life in Florence
It's another beautiful day in Firenze and I've settled into a quiet daily routine. In the mornings, I sit in the sun in my soggiorno (living room), and write while I drink un caffè. About 10 am, I usually venture out to walk for an hour, often stopping to shop on the way home. I hang out at home most of the day, then go out for another 1-2 hour walk in the late afternoon or evening. There's always something going on in the evenings, and it's fun to be part of the vibrant city life. I usually chat with one or two friends on Skype each day, but so far have only had a few chances to meet with friends in person.
Yesterday I ended up at Piazza D'Azeglio, one of my favorite parks in Florence, just a 10-minute walk from my appartamento. Tall trees fill the park, and many locals come here to walk, chat, run, read or just hang out. In 2006 I walked through this park twice a day on my way to and from the school where I was taking an immersion course in Italian for several weeks. I stayed with an Italian signora on Viale Gramsci, and had a good 30-minute walk from the flat to the school. I was always happy to return to this park at the end of the day. Piazza D'Azeglio is one of my favorite spots to go in Firenze when I need to be in nature, or to feel grounded.
In the park, there's a playground, as well as a large enclosed carousel for little ones.
I've resumed a full schedule of meeting with my Italian friends on Skype, talking with many of them for an hour at a time each week. They include Marco (Modena), Massimo (Bologna), Lucia (Trento), Domenico (Grottammare), Enzo (Salerno), Claudio (Rome) and Alberto (Genova). I have other Italian friends that I correspond with frequently by email. I've known most of them for 2-4 years, and will see many of them while I'm here. In the past, I've visited many of them in their homes. I met all of them through a language exchange site, appropriately called mylanguageexchange.com
On Saturday, a friend from my home town, Lawrence, will be in Firenze for the day. We had arranged to travel together to Lucca and le Cinque Terre next week, but she changed her plans, so I'll be going to Lucca on my own. I'd been looking forward to seeing le Cinque Terre again, but prefer to wait until I have someone to share it with. I was there in 2006, on my first trip to Italy.
On Sunday, I'll be spending the day in Bologna with Massimo and his family. I'm eager to fare un giro (take a tour) with a native Bolognese. Then on Monday, I'm headed to Lucca for another festa, one I happened upon two years ago and want to see again. I'll spend two days there at a delightful hostel I've stayed in several times in the past. Once I return to Firenze, I'll have several weeks of work to do, so I'm glad to have the chance for an adventure first. I'll have a lot to write about when I return!