October 31st–Bus to Florence

Happy Halloween Everyone,

Here in Italy it is All Saints Day a three to four day holiday much like our Obon where families return to their homes, visit the graves of their loved ones and attend church services.

We drove by bus to Florence and upon our arrival we had a walking tour of the city’s historic Renaissance center.  We learned about Brunelleschis’ magnificent cathedral dome.  A massive structure. It is another example of the power of faith and what can be done in the name of God.  Much like the huge Buddha in Nara.  Nearby we saw the Ghilberti’s Baptistery doors of gold.

We walked a short distance to Santa Croce Church.  The 14th Century Franscian chuch houses the tomb of Galileo Galilei.  I admire Galileo who defied the church by stating that the earth moved around the sun.   He was put under house arrest and wasn’t allowed to be buried in the church until hundreds of years after his death. Also buried here is Michelangelo and Machiavelli.

After visiting this beautiful church with its rich history we settled into a restraunt for a Tuscan dinner of a hearty vegetable soup, beef stew, wine, panna cotta and lemon chello.

Rev. Shinseki