The Florence from the Heart website publishes articles, slideshows, photos and videos from people who live in and love the city. It was created by Melinda Gallo who wanted a website where she could write more about her experiences in her beloved city.
I walk through the crowded city streets of Florence and am continually touched by what the city has to offer. I try to keep my eyes open and notice the details, like a statue on the side of a building, a giglio (the symbol on the city's coat of arms) engraved on a monument, a group of locals sitting on the steps of a church, the smell of coffee and warm pastries wafting out of a bar in the morning, the light on a church against a dark sky, the reflections of buildings and clouds on the Arno, the sounds of cars honking in the streets, fiorentini (Florentines) walking in the streets and talking on cellphones, and tourists moving en masse from one place to the next.
I initially fell in love with the city because of its beauty, charm, and fascinating history. And with time, I have come to appreciate it even more as if my love for the city has become deeper.
I came here the first time in 1997 and after three days could not see myself anywhere else. I stayed almost exactly two years to the day when I was called to go back to the US for a few years. When I returned at the end of 2004, I began a blog to write about my life in Florence. After a few years of writing a blog, I felt I needed a place where I could discuss places, events, and life in Florence in a more detailed manner. I wanted to dive into the details and not just write about them as they happen. Even though I do love writing my blog because it is a day-to-day account of my life here, the Florence from the Heart website allows me the luxury of time to contemplate, examine, and fully appreciate all the aspects of the city that touch my heart and soul. This website enables me, along with a few other contributors, to share the love of this magnificent city with others.
May you enjoy our experiences of Florence!
Abbracci a tutti,
To bring this website to life has taken much inspiration, passion, time, and the support of many people. I want to thank them all because without their involvement in my life and this project, this website would not exist.
I am grateful for the following people: Erin Sloan (for her presence in my life, continual support, and design suggestions), Lisa A. McGarry (for her friendship, wonderful editing capabilities and mutual appreciation and love of Florence), Dave Batton (for his praise, editing help and nifty ideas), Diana Richman (for her support and belief in my website), Brian F. Buschmann (for his interest in participating in the website and his valuable photography lessons), and 'Annah Sobelman (for her fervent encouragement for me to continue writing what percolates in my heart). I thank all of my dear friends who listened to me talk about my project and were excited to see it come to fruition. A big thank you to Bari Hochwald who told me that the love of my city is palpable in the photos that I've been taking of Florence.
I also want to thank four fiorentini (Marco P., Marco D., Claudio, and Lorenzo) for appreciating my writing about our beloved city and encouraging me to write more.
I thank the readers of my blog who have entered my life and shared a piece of themselves with me. Their words motivated me to want to share even more of my city and my love for it.
And most importantly I thank my husband Alessandro who has been supportive of me and is always so proud of everything I do. Sei la luce nel mio cuore.