Immersed in the mountains, we left early from Assisi to La Verna in the morning. According to the historical sources this is where St. Francis got his stigmata according to the historical sources. La Verna is a quiet and beautiful mountain and there are still some friars living there. We saw many modern paintings about Francis, explored caves in which he lived before, talked about the meaning of ‘stigmazation’ with Dr. Cook, and saw a robe he wore when he got the stigmata.
After another 2 hours’ drive, we arrived at Florence, the center of the Renaissance. Fortunately our hotel is right at the center of the downtown, quite close to the cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore, and the famous Baptistery. Then Dr. Cook explained to us about the Baptistery, where the famous poet Dante was baptized, and the cathedral, one of the largest churches in the world. There is a very gorgeous fresco made in mosaics on the ceiling of the Dome. The fresco has four stories about creation, Joseph, Christ, and John the Baptist and a big picture of the last judgment. Then we moved to the big Cathedral whose dome was built in a very interesting way. We also saw many real relics from the Baptistery and Cathedral at the Cathedral museum. As we could notice at the museum, the uniqueness that made Florence the center of Renaissance was that Florence celebrated manual arts and held many open competition to build those marvelous architectures.
In the evening Dr. Cook gave us a tour at the downtown and we had a very delicious meal of pasta and pizza at the second best place of pizza in the world. What a wonderful day! Ciao!
Haoyuan Nick Su – ‘12