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Sunday morning wake up to the blackbirds singing in the garden. Coffee quick. A scooter ride in the morning sun. Down through the city and out onto the Arno, all with a french bulldog wedged between my husband and me. He walks into work, I switch to my bike, thankfully safe after spending two nights and days locked there. Dog in the basket. It’s too beautiful to go straight home. Following the new bike paths, winding through the turns. Luna’s ears pop up out of the basket cage. We pedal into the shade of the trees. The cascine – once the private hunting grounds of kings. Down the pavement, flying on wheels. Families are out. Children wobble on two-wheeled bikes as parents hold them straight. Dogs bound through the long grass between the pathways. Groups of people play soccer in the fields, the heat of summer finally scorching down. I bike all the way down to the bridge. The big red bridge, the one named after the monument for the Indian prince who never made it back home, and that Florence was kind to years ago. Back the other direction, past the old area. I just learned they used to have bullfights there. Past older couples hand in hand, younger ones pushing strollers. Entire families spread wide across the pathway. Bike bells ring and they move apart like a big game of Red Rover. The dog park full of barking and wagging tails as we pass. Luna needing to go like a three-year-old needs ice cream when passing Dairy Queen. Park the bike, Let Luna run in the shade of the umbrella pines.

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