frolicking thursday, round 12
So I threw my camera into my bag, placed sunglasses firmly on my face, hopped on my bike and 'made it by 9.' After which, I climbed the hill to Piazza Michelangelo---a famous piazza that looks over Florence, noting the Duomo in all its splendid glory. It has a copy of Michelangelo's David (and around its base, copies of a few of his other statues). On that same hill---well, okay, up just a bit higher---are two churches and a large cemetery.
Built in 1018, San Miniato al Monte (built as a shrine for martyr Saint Minias aka San Miniato) is stunning. Inside are the most intricate marble mosaics I have ever seen, covering the floors, the choir and pulpit. It may sound funny to say this, but if you can imagine a split level home... while standing in the nave, you can simultaneously see the raised choir loft and high altar (with a gorgeous gold mosaic in the apse) AND below you see the crypt. All beautifully maintained. This church is surrounded by an impressive cemetery---opened in 1854---and full of 'family tombs' that look like little cathedrals themselves (the one with the prettiest and biggest one wins---sorry, couldn't resist).
Actually, I like walking through cemeteries. It is humbling, grounding, and a good place to think about life, the people you love and the people you miss.
I also stepped into the church of San Salvatore al Monte---a Franciscan church, so very bare and humble. Although it took a bit to push my bike UP the hill, the ride down was fantastic! On my way home, I hopped into a grocer's, placed the bag gingerly in my falling-apart-front-basket and rode across the Ponte alle Grazie bridge home.