We started our day pretty early today. We had to meet with our landlady at some government building to get our Italian card since we will be here longer than one month. She is very sweet and we took her out for coffee afterwards. On her recommendation we strolled through the Mercato Centrale – Florence’s giant iron-and-glass-covered central market with garment stalls lining the streets outside the market building. More scarves and leather goods than you will ever see in one place anywhere. For some reason the merchants all know we are American before we open our mouths and they want your business- badly. We did not buy a thing! (So proud of myself) From there we caught a bus to take us out to Fiesole which is a cute little town perched on a hill overlooking the Arno valley. We met a couple of nice ladies who were staying in Italy for 3 months on the bus and joined them for lunch up in Fiesole. They gave us some good tour ideas since they have been here longer. There is not much up in this town but at one time the Etruscans settled here about 400 years before the Romans founded Florence.
After lunch we took the bus back down the hill to Florence and walked through the city with a stop at San Lorenzo Church. This Domed-church is the Medici church and the burial place of the family’ founder, Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici (1360-1429). Highlights of the church include 2 sculpted Donatello pulpits and Filippo Lippi’s Annunciation. The Old Sacristy, designed by Brunelleschi, was the burial chapel for the Medici. In the nave just before the altar is the round inlaid marble floor where Cosimo the Elder – Lorenzo the Magnificent‘s grandfather – is buried. Donatello is also buried in the Medici graveyard because he was such a close friend of the Medici’s. I could not take pictures in San Lorenzo’s (although I did sneak a quick one) so I have included 3 pictures off the internet. It was another cool, but beautiful day here in Florence.