Aren’t you guys lucky!  I am going to take you through Florence slowly as I see it!  This morning Bruce and I decided to go to church so we went a few blocks to the German Lutheran church – I think the only one in Florence.  The service was all in German and there were 7 of us in the congregation.  My German came back to me a little bit and I think he gave a good message?  To have it so empty is a little disappointing.  But I remember when I lived in Germany the churches were basically empty there too.

The weather has been fantastic: blue sky in the 70’s.  Bruce wonders how the meteorologists can be so wrong here!  They have the same data we have but they have been predicting rain now for 3 days.  We thought we would rest today but the weather was so nice we went out after the laundry was done.  First stop was the Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella.  It was started as an herb garden by the  Santa Maria Novella monks in 1612.  Now it sells perfumes, soaps, and herbal remedies for whatever ails you.  We then toured the Santa Maria Novella church settled by a Dominican order in 1219.  The present church was completed sometime around 1420.  The complex includes the Basilica, museum (including Cloister of the Dead), and great cloister which has housed the Carabinieri (police) officers school since 1920.  There are beautiful frescoes and painting dating back to the 1300’s.  There was a Tuscany market going on at the Piazza d. Republica so we went over to take a look at it before we ate dinner and then went back to our apartment to get off our feet for  a while.

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