When I head out for a run in the morning, I am excited not just to run, but also to bask in my beloved city's beauty. I enjoy running outside, even when I'm on vacation, to see more of my surroundings. Of all the places where I have run, Florence is my favorite. Not just because Florence has such lovely monuments and churches, but because of how Mother Nature enhances her beauty. At sunrise and sunset, the sun casts a golden light on the city. When it's cloudy, the pastel-colored buildings become more vibrant. When the wind dies down, the Arno is so still that you can see the reflections of the buildings on it. After a big rain, the water in the Arno flows swiftly and cascades over the three pescaie (weirs) in town.
I love how I let how I feel and what inspires me to dictate where I go running. I don't always run the same route and love to change it up. Sometimes I run up to Piazzale Michelangiolo and other times toward Ponte alla Carraia. If I go out early enough, I run through the centro storico (historical center) and greet my favorite churches and monuments as I pass by. I still get chills every time I run from the Duomo down via Calzaiuoli and arrive in Piazza della Signoria.
I always listen to music when I run, but I once left my iPod in Paris and was forced to lug my iPhone with me. I didn't like how it bounced around in my pocket while I was running. Every once in a while, I had to hold it down in my pocket so it wouldn't bounce around. That first time, I ran up to Piazzale Michelangiolo with my iPhone. After my run, I usually walk around the piazzale to take in the view and stretch out as I embrace my beloved city from above. But because I had my iPhone with me, I was also able to take a few pictures.
I had always wished that I could bring my iPhone with me when I went out running, but I always thought it would be too cumbersome. But ever since that first time I ran up to Piazzale Michelangiolo, I always take my iPhone running with me. I even purchased a special belt that I wear so that my iPhone doesn't bounce around any more.
Running in Florence is a wonderful experience because it's a unique way to take in the city. Since I run in the morning, it's even more special because there are so few people out while the city is waking up from its slumber. It’s almost as if Florence is all mine.
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