After a quick breakfast in we headed out for the Basilica di San Marco. The original Benedictine monastery was established in the 13th century and was later occupied by the Dominicans who then refurbished and expanded the facility with the support of the Medici family. The architecture is phenomenal but the reason you are there is for the frescoes that grace the walls, which were painted by the great Dominican artist, Fra Angelico. Every monk’s cell has a scene from the life of Christ along with many of the walls along the hallways and cloister.
There are also works by several of the other brothers and this one of the Lord’s Supper caught my eye in particular but it wasn’t Jesus I saw first…
A few more from other artist.
I ended my time in this most holy place by praying the Rosary before this crucifix. It was a peaceful spot.
After a quick lunch (some tasty pasta) we worked our way through the crowds to the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (aka: Duomo).
I’m still not entirely sure how it happened but will standing gawking (I apparently was silently screaming, “Gullible Tourist!) I managed to get swindled out of $25 Euros. I’ll try not be so nice in the future.
The interior of both the baptistery and the main church are quite austere when compared to some of the others we’ve seen, but as I said yesterday, “Look up.”
Below the Duomo is a church dating back to time between the 1st and 4th centuries. Only fragments remain but it provides a glimpse of our very distant past.
We made out way back to the VRBO by mid-afternoon. The heat today was wearing on us all, which allowed us time to rest and freshen up before heading out to dinner where we enjoyed some of the best Florence has to offer and what they are famous for: red meat/steak. You tell them what you want, but you do not tell them how to prepare it (rare/medium/etc). You order and they deliver. Trust me: they are the experts and you will not be disappointed.
And then we ate…
There was salad and bread and roasted potatoes and Florentine steak and Prosecco and Chianti Classico and caffe corretto (Sambuca was the correction to the coffee) and limon cello and Amaro and tiramisu and Tarte Della Nona with pine nuts and Strawberry Pavlova.