Yesterday was an amazing day of art and spirituality. As we woke up in the morning we had the opportunity to set off on a tour of Florence with an incredibly knowledgeable tour guide. Starting our tour in Piazza Santa Maria Novella with a view and explanation of the Church and the history of the place. Just to share a bit with you, the Church was built by the Dominicans and served – and still serves – as a pharmacy. It is said to be the place where Dominic and Francis once met.
Moving from the square, we went to the first home of the famous Medici family and then saw the Chapel of the Medici where their family is entombed. From there we had the privilege to tour the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze where we viewed Michelangelo’s famous statue of David. It was quite a moving experience, and we had a detailed explanation of the masterpiece.
As if seeing the David was not enough, we moved next to the Uffizi Gallery where we viewed the palace of the Medici and many priceless pieces of art from Michelangelo, Rafael, Da Vinci, Caravaggio, and many others.
It was at the Uffizi where we ended our tour and many of us parted our ways for the day. As the day went on I chose to take a long walk up a major hill past Galileo Galilei’s house and past the Fortezza di S. Giorgio – an old fortress a top the hill. Heading down from that hill, I stumbled upon a small church which I dropped in to finish the rosary I was praying on my walk. As I finished, I noticed that folks were starting to come in and Mass was about to begin so I just stayed and participated – as much as I could – in the Mass of this small Church. It was a truly moving experience that was caped off when I started to walk back and came upon a small micro-brewery – there is nothing like a long walk, a deep an powerful experience of prayer, and then a good beer to continue the spiritual experience.
It was a great day and a deeply moving night which ended in a conversation with an Irishman about many different topics such as religion and politics – the two things that one is never supposed to speak of to strangers.
Click here for a gallery on facebook – I am sorry if you don’t have facebook, I will try to post these pictures via the blog when I get better internet connection as well as some pictures from my other cameras: