We started our first full day in Florence with morning prayer at the basilica of San Lorenzo. Like most major churches here there is a special door for those who wish to pray or attend Mass so that aspect is preserved in contrast to tourism. This was the parish church of the Medici family and many are buried.
We attended Mass at the Duomo, again, entering at the prayer door. This might be the only way we enter this trip because even before it opened the line to enter was down the street. This cathedral is awesome inside and out, with many colors of marble creating geometric patterns. The dome is largest brick dome in the world engineered by Brunelieschi.
We were excited to go to the Museum of San Marco. It was the monastery which was home to Fra Angelico, and his frescos are in every room and monastic cell. Like the Scrovengi chapel in Padua it is considered a masterpiece of European art. The works are familiar but it was amazing to see them in their original context.
After lunch we hiked up to an overlook of Florence, the piazzale of Michaelangelo . The hike was through a gate of the city walls and up into the surrounding mountains. From the city it is easy to forget that Florence is ringed with mountains. The view posted is panoramic. If you wish you can download to see it in its entirety.
After dinner we attended a concert in Or San Michele. The concert was held on the upper floor, amidst original statues. The windows were open that afforded great views of the city, but also admitted the noise from the lively street life below.