St. Stephen’s Day is kind of a quasi-holiday in Italy. As far as I can tell the main activity of the day is eating a pannettone type of sweet that is dome-shaped and has raisins or almonds or chocolate bits on top. The sticking out raisins etc. on top of the dome-shaped bread commemorates St. Stephen’s martyrdom by being stoned. In art, St. Stephen is usually shown with rocks on top of his head.
Unfortunately when Sarah goes down to our bakery next door to pick up our St. Stephen’s bread for breakfast, they are closed for St. Stephen’s Day. Sigh.
Today’s sightseeing main event is the Medici Chapels and San Lorenzo Cathedral. (No pictures allowed)The first San Lorenzo was built in the 300’s, rebuilt in the 1100’s and it’s interior was redone in the 1500’s. It is the first cathedral of Florence and also the home church to the Medici.
The Medicis were quite full of themselves and wanted a lasting monument to their wonderfulness. All the big name art and architecture players were involved. Michelangelo won the bid for the exterior but like many of his projects, it was never completed. He also did a lot of the sculptures in their mausoleum.
Tourist note – The audio tour in the Medici Chapels is incredibly pompous and so filled with architectural jargon that we couldn’t figure out what they were talking about.
Our visit to San Lorenzo takes up the entire morning and afterwards we head back to the apartment to finish up yesterday’s lasagna and to start packing. My suitcase seems less full. Either I am getting better at packing or I am forgetting something.
For our final dinner in Florence we decide to go to Il Caminetto, a restaurant that we’ve been to on previous trips. Our dinner did not turn out so well. Perhaps we were less discerning ten years ago or the food has gone downhill.
We finish up with vin santo and cookies which we all enjoy.
A final walk by the Duomo and we say goodbye to Florence.