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I LOVE THIS PHOTO! Almost as if God paid a visit. Wow! The tourists that were inside, were snapping away, literally taking hundreds of photos, afraid the light would change.

I was quite surprised by how many places I visited while in Italy. For a “quick and dirty” trip of less than two weeks, I saw much more than I expected to. My final post from Florence will be relatively short, as I didn’t take too many photographs at the 2 places I visited: Basilica della Santissima Annunziata, a Roman Catholic church; and, San Marco Museum (formerly a convent).

Basilica della Santissima Annunziata was founded in 1250 by 7 original members of the Servite order. The church has the oldest organ (1628) in Florence and the 2nd oldest in all of Italy. A statue, Pieta (1559), by Baccio Bandinelli also graces the right transept in a small side chapel. Additionally, remarkable paintings grace the interior of the church, as well as equally beautiful frescoes on the courtyard walls.

The San Marco Museum was refreshing if only because there weren’t as many tourists as other Florence museums I’ve been to. Couple that with the serene and peaceful atmosphere of the convent grounds and interior rooms – I really enjoyed visiting this place. Even the walk to this part of town was enjoyable because you didn’t run into hordes of tourists on the sidewalks. If you get a chance to visit Florence, I would suggest that you consider putting this museum on your itinerary.  The convent has 3 claims to fame: During the 15th century, it was home to two famous Dominicans, the painter Fra Angelico and the preacher Girolamo Savonarola; also housed at the convent is a famous collection of manuscripts in a library built by Michelozzo. Regarding Fra Angelico, each cell of the monks cloister and other rooms/walls were painted by this Dominican.

My train trip to Paris, France is an all-nighter, with me leaving at approximately 9:30pm this evening and not arriving until 10:15am on the 6th of May. Consequently, I have no idea when I will post again. Perhaps in 2-3 days. It all depends on WIFI, how tired I am, and if I have anything to share. Regardless, take care. Ciao! 🙂

These are the photos I took yesterday:

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Magnificent altar area, with a stunning ceiling and the LIGHT EMANATING FROM THE HEAVENS!

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Italian Cathedrals can’t be outdone for pure grandeur!

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Oldest organ in Florence and 2nd oldest in Italy.

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This is the Pieta sculpture I mentioned by Baccio Bandinelli.

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I was blown away by this ceiling. You literally are awe-struck and stare for 5-10 minutes, wondering what kind of outstanding talent it took to paint something so beautiful.

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Saint Antonito Pierozzi’s remains are in this urn. He was a Franciscan Frar who was known for his depth of wisdom, holiness of life, pastoral care, and apostolic zeal. The remains are more or less perfectly preserved, even after 100s of years.

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Madonna and Christ child.

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Painting done by Fra Angelico.

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San Marco Convent bell tower and courtyard.

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Entrance to San Marco Museum.

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A monk’s living quarters (cell) and a painting by Fra Angelico. All the monks had rooms smaller than a child’s bedroom. Now, I know where the term, “living like a monk” came from. Ha.

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Most monks were tiny, as I had to stoop through this this door to a monk’s cell.

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Manuscript in the library. The script is in a latin codex.

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Another manuscript. The amount of time spent on producing just one manuscript was unbelievably long and difficult. The finished product a work of art.

A poster showing a monk working on a theological manuscript.

A poster showing a monk working on a theological manuscript.

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Convent garden.

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