Construction on the Basilica of St Francis was started immediately after St. Francis’ death in 1228 and it was officially completed after the addition of the upper church in 1253. It is divided into the upper church and the lower church, and regardless of which one you’re in, you’re looking at incredible frescoes. St Francis is buried in a room, tons of people go down the steps and walk around his crypt, kissing it, praying, worshiping it. Pictures are not permitted inside.
In 1997 a An earthquake hit Italy in this region. The biggest quake, measured at 5.7 initially but later revised upwards to 6.1, With tragic consequences, it occurred at 11.43am, just as a party of Franciscan monks, journalists, town officials and experts from the Ministry of Culture had decided to venture inside the basilica to inspect the damage.
It is thought that between 20 and 30 people were inside the Upper Church when the shaking began, caused the vaulted ceiling to collapse, bringing down sections of Giotto’s fresco cycle depicting the Life of Saint Francis.
Most of them were able to escape by running away as the ceiling began to fall but 10 were trapped under the rubble for many hours. Six were pulled out alive but rescuers found that two of the friars and two of the government experts had been killed.
Getting Ready to Board Boat
Armani’s yacht, the black one
See the vineyards on the hillside, These people have to be fit! Supplies are carried in by foot! Can’t imagine! Saw an older man carrying 2 cases of wine, one on shoulder and one under his other arm, up many stairs, never slowed down or seemed to struggle! We Americans are so unfit!
Fun Times at Cinque Terra
The most flavorful steaks are charcoal broiled over hot coals. The chef sets the steak on the fire on its bone end first to raise the internal temperature before broiling. After about 15 minutes, the chef grills the steak for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, only turning it once. Before serving, the steak rests in a warm oven for 10-15 minutes. The result is a juicy, rare steak with a gorgeous outer sear.
Our Guide, Dale being a good student!
Madonna and Child, Filipe Lippi, interesting because he was a Monk, but this is the face of his mistress and their children.
Birth Of Venus, Botticellii
Adoration of the Magi, Unfinished painting by da Vinci
Baptism of Christ by da Vinci
Holy Family by Michelangelo
Very interesting, but very crowded. Was glad to get out into the cool air and sunshine!! Walked around a bit and had a salad and pizza at a sidewalk cafe
Yes, the food is different, some better, some not, some observations, The breads are so good! Always olive oil and balsalmic to dip your bread in. Pastries are everywhere, and of course very good. The tomatoes are so sweet, as good or better than our summer tomatoes. Eggs yolks are deep yellow to orange in color, the scrambled eggs on buffets every am are not cooked enough for us. Coffee is strong, We learned to ask for Americano Coffee, or a cappuccino. Lot’s of deli type meat everywhere. Of course gelato on every corner. When you ask for water, they will ask “still or sparkling”. Still is plain water and sparkling is carbonated. All water comes in a large glass bottle. Nothing from tap. No plastics here, all glass bottles are recycled and refilled. There is also bottles of water in glass bottles in the hotel rooms.
Here’s some pics to stimulate your appetite.
Venice, the capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region, is built on 118 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. It has no roads, just canals separated by 400 bridges.The central square, Piazza San Marco, contains St. Mark’s Basilica, which is tiled with Byzantine mosaics, and the Campanile bell tower offering views of the city’s red roofs.
Our Hotel for last 2 nights. The Bauer Venezia
We rode the high speed train from Florence. First class, hour and half.
WOW! You know you read about Venice and see pictures, but it’s nothing like seeing it. No Cars, No bikes, only boats and walking. AMAZING. We got off train and walked across the plaza to the water, 4 boats were waiting on us, 6 to a boat, took us to our hotel. WOW just WOW
It’s great to walk on the small streets not worrying about traffic, cars or bikes! Other cities have been crazy
Bathrooms in Italy. (Water Closets and Toilets)
Let’s just say they are different. Public ones are not what we are use too. The toilet usually has no seat. Our tour guide knew where the “clean” ones were. In every little town she would show us where to “go”. Not uncommon to see paid toilets. The toilets in restaurants are hard to find. They are always upstairs or downstairs, in a tiny space. No wonder they call them Closets
In the hotel rooms everyone had a bidet beside the toilet. Finally after the 4th or 5th night I googled how to use one. Quite refreshing! And the towels you use with bidet are different. So you will know which towels are hand towels and bidet towels, Just saying!
Friday, May 31, 2019
Venetian glass is thought to have been made for over 1,500 years, and production has been concentrated on the Venetian island of Murano since the 13th century. Today Murano is known for its art glass, but it has a long history of innovations in glassmaking in addition to its artistic fame—and was Europe's first major glassmaking center. During the 15th century, Murano glassmakers created cristallo—which was almost transparent and considered the finest glass in the world. This am we went to a Murano glass maker. Very interesting and beautiful
We looked in glass shop after shop, really didn’t see anything we wanted to buy, then we happened on this small shop where this man was making the glass, everything in his shop he made, and it was reasonable! He couldn’t speak Engish, his wife a little. Loved talking to them. They had such a sweet spirit! Left with a smile!
Saint Mark’s Basilica Private Tour at 9:30PM. We were the only ones in the chapel. An extraordinary experience. Pictures will not show what we saw, the entire ceiling is mosaics in 24 karat gold. Each piece the size of a fingernail. Walking within inches of the “alter” with the gospel writer, Mark’s remains. Seeing the guard use same key that opened the church on 1094 AD
The first St. Mark’s Basilica was built on this spot in the 9th century to house very sacred relics—relics that had been stolen! In 828, merchants from Venice stole the body of St. Mark the Evangelist, one of the four Apostles, from Alexandria, Egypt. According to the legend, they snuck them past the (Muslim) guards by hiding them under layers of pork in barrels!
The entire story is pictured on the 13th-century mosaic above the left door as you enter the basilica.
Back to hotel late, have early call in AM to airport by boat😳