Yesterday we went to see the basilica of Santa Croce. The construction on the current church was begun in May 1294. The Basilica is the largest Franciscan church in the world. It is enormous and many of Florence’s great artists and scientists are buried there. I was thrilled to see Michelangelo’s grave and monument. I think he is one of the greatest artists the world has ever produced. We also saw Galileo’s tomb, Machiavelli’s grave and a monument to Dante ( the Florentines exiled him and his remains are staying in Ravenna where he died). It is amazing that so many giants in their fields have sprung from the fertile ground of Tuscany. It must be the gelato!
Today we went to the Uffizi Art museum and saw Michelangelo’s masterpiece , The Holy Family, It is the only finished panel painting by the mature Michelangelo to survive. I just stood there mesmerized by his brilliant work. in my humble opinion, all the other paintings around this one of Michelangelo’s looked simple and sad, . I spent 3 hours looking at paintings in the Museum and will be going back next week to see the rest of what I missed.
Tonight we went to the Badia to hear the nuns and brothers sing Vespers and Mass. The Badìa Fiorentina is an abbey and church that is now home to the Fraternity of Jerusalem. It was first built in 978 AD and Dante who grew near by would have heard the monks singing the Mass and the Offices here in Latin Gregorian chant. It was amazing to hear the office of Vespers and the Mass sung in such an old church by a group of nuns and brothers.
We manage to walk 13 miles today and are nursing our feet right now before bed. More tomorrow about the filming of The Inferno….