After going to one of our favorite cappuccino places for lunch we walked over to go through The Basilica of San Lorenzo which is one of the largest churches of Florence, situated at the centre of the city’s main market district, and the burial place of all the principal members of the Medici family from Cosimo il Vecchio to Cosimo III. It is one of several churches that claim to be the oldest in Florence; when it was consecrated in 393 it stood outside the city walls. For three hundred years it was the city’s cathedral before the official seat of the bishop was transferred to Santa Reparata. San Lorenzo was also the parish church of the Medici family. In 1419, Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici offered to finance a new church to replace the 11th-century Romanesque rebuilding. Filippo Brunelleschi, the leading Renaissance architect of the first half of the 15th century, was commissioned to design it, but the building, with alterations, was not completed until after his death. The church is part of a larger monastic complex that contains other important architectural works: the Old Sacristy by Brunelleschi; the Laurentian Library by Michelangelo; the New Sacristy based on Michelangelo’s designs; and the Medici Chapels by Matteo Nigetti. I have already posted some pictures from an earlier visit and during a mass/concert. Also the photo Nazi’s were in full force today so I could not really enjoy any photography. This church is ALL about the Medici’s……….oh, and also Donatello who was a particular friend (you know what I mean) of Cosimo Medici, who wanted his body to be laid to rest nearby. I wish I could have taken some pictures of the Old Sacristy because it was really beautiful as designed by Bruelleschi with many works by Donatello. I also included some pictures of the Misericordia ambulances which are lined up by the Duomo. I have always thought they were there for all the tourists having heart attacks after climbing up the tower and Duomo stairs to the top. But upon doing some research I find that the Misericordia of Florence has been helping and giving physical and spiritual free assistance to any one who needs it for about 760 years. It was born in the Middle Ages around the time of Dante (1244). This Misericordia palace was built at the shadow of Giotto’s bell tower next to the Brunelleschi Duomo and near the “door of Paradise” by Ghiberti on the Baptistery in the heart of old Florence. There are three chief ideas: the good will of everyone, the whole gratuitousness of the given and received service, the anonymity of the lenders of this service. It is said that it is still the same today and is considered the most prestigious and ancient one in the world. From what I understand these are not medical people but volunteers.