During our 2010 trip to Europe, we visited a few churches. Being raised Catholic is one reason why we made sure we visited them; being history majors was another reason. Churches of the Middle Ages are more than just places of worship. They were landmarks most of the cities were built around. They were the meeting places of the masses. Since most of those masses were uneducated during this time, the Churches served another purpose. They told the story of Christ through their windows and their art. They also told a story through their architecture.
We are not experts in architecture. Yet, when we visited Notre Dame in Paris, The Duomo in Florence, and St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City we came away with different feelings about the Church.
Piazza della Signoria with Palazzo Vecchio in Florence
Without a doubt, Florence was my favorite city of our grand Europe tour. If you offered me a job in Florence tomorrow and had already worked out the living arrangements, I would contact a realtor on my way to the airport.
We arrived late in the afternoon exhausted from riding the trains all day. The hotel was actually outside the city – not a mistake I would make a again – so we had to take a taxi. Riding in a car in Italy is, by the way, very close to riding a thrill ride. We traveled a lot by car in Italy and all drivers were the same: fast and furious. Once we arrived at the hotel, we decided to stay in. We also had an extra day in our Italian itinerary, so, fraught with worry that I wouldn’t see everything, I convinced Cristina to spend the extra day here. Florence didn’t let my faith down. Continue reading →