Travel: Italy (Day Two)

The day began with the sun glorifying the gold cross on top of the Duomo.

It was a wonderfully cool morning, so we walked up the street to Artigianale’s for a croissant and cappuccino. From there we made our way through the early morning bustle of the office workers and arrived at the Uffizi Gallery Florence precisely on schedule.

The Uffizi is like walking through the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It just never stops. You will either suffer from Stendhal Syndrome (being overwhelmed by such wondrous works of art) or Florence Disease (simply by being overwhelmed by the sheer abundance of art.) And there is much to see.

And don’t forget to look up, because the ceilings are just as beautiful…

As we finished we stopped for some fizzy water then made our way to the Santa Croce Basilica. So much beauty…

We sat with this view and spent some time in prayer before walking the inside perimeter and seeing the side chapels. I had no idea. This is the place where some of the greatest minds in history have been buried. When I say greatest, I mean…

And many more. The floor is a maze of grave makers so worn that you can no longer read the names and for me, I found myself walking around them or between them so as not to “step” on anyone. From there we made our way into the church museum and again, just so much to see…

It was then that I simply decided to focus on one small detail of the works we were seeing. It allowed the opportunity to truly absorb a small piece of what was being offered.

All this could only be followed up by some tasty food, so we made our way over to Oinos Ristorante / Pizzeria where I had lots of water, Penne al Chianti, and a nice glass of Chianti. We went on from there just wandering the city where we encountered the boar at the Boar Market and found a nice glass of wine in Signorvino along the Arno River.

Of all that I’ve been amazed with outside of the city, art, and food, it is the mass of people. So many here to take pictures of what they see but it does not seem that they take it in. They are moving so fast that it is not possible to form any real attachment to the art or to understand it. That’s not a judgment, I just find myself standing in front one piece that “speaks” to me and not really worrying about the rest. Lectio Divina is the method of reading until the text elicits a response from you. Seems art should do the same. You don’t go until you’ve seen everything there is to offer, you go until something speaks and then you let it write its message on your heart. I’m going to remember this as I make my way through the next two weeks.

The day ended with the sun setting behind the duomo.

Buoyant note, amici!

4 Replies to “Travel: Italy (Day Two)”

  1. Enjoy every moment! Breathe deeply and let the Italian air fill your lungs. And let the art and food and friends and joy restore your soul!

  2. John,
    I am glad you are making this trip.
    Thank you for sending The Sabbath materials!
    My younger daughter Gracie and I leave for the Camino de Santiago this Saturday. We are doing the French Route (starting in St. Jean Pied de Port), allotting five weeks for the pilgrimage. On July 1, she and I will fly to Rome and Paula (my wife, Gracie’s mom) will meet us for a Rick Steves Heart of Italy tour (Rome, Cinqueterre, Florence). I have never been to Europe; trip of a lifetime for me!
    Blessings,
    John Rule

  3. I love pictures of old cathedrals! Saw a few when I went to Mexico. I called your church to visit with you and she said you had just left the day before to go on this trip. I’ll be in touch when you get back, and enjoy what you post until then!

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