A Convent, a Charming Street, and Art(isans)
I took a road trip to visit one of my favorite cities, Florence. My accommodation was a convent
that was 10 minutes from the Duomo - an old building with pillars and arcades, a lovely fresco
on the second floor, and a garden with orange trees.
Once settled, I explored. I walked along a charming one-block street located very close to the
Ponte Vecchio, Borgo SS. Apostoli. While there, I visited the Piazza de Limbo to see the Church
of Santi Apostoli, a small Romanesque-style church that is one of the oldest buildings in
Florence. Along the way, I admired the details of centuries-old brown wooden doors as I strolled
past shops and a lively wine bar, Mangiafoco.
Left to right:
Top row: Borgo Pinti convent, Borgo SS. Apostoli, and door detail
Bottom row: Ghiberti’s bronze door detail (replica), Scuola del Cuoio, and Palazzo Vecchio
Florence was not crowded, so I was able to visit the Duomo and The Baptistry with Ghiberti’s
bronze doors without being jostled. After a quick walk, I entered the doors of the Badia
Fiorentina, an abbey founded in 978 with beautiful art including a painting by Filippino Lippi. (If
you can, come here to listen to the beautiful singing at Vespers; you will thank me.)
I also visited the Scuola del Cuoio (“Leather School”) where I watched artisans create leather
goods sold on-site. Interesting note: The Leather School was founded after World War II to give
orphans a trade to earn a living, and the building features frescoes executed by the school of
On my final evening, I crossed the Ponte Vecchio bridge at dusk and heard the musicians playing
music and walked on to the Piazza della Signoria to see the Loggia and the Palazzo Vecchio
illuminated against the night sky.
I have returned to Paris, but I hope to share another adventure with you soon.
Ciao for now,
MY FAVORITE THINGS
Monasterystays.com – book rooms in monasteries and convents, often in interesting old buildings centrally located in town. For the adventurer.
Scuola del Cuoio – leather school behind the Santa Croce church. Watch artisans at work.
Tram – take the tram directly from the airport to the center of town in 20 minutes for 1.5 Euros. Easier and faster than taxi.
STAY IN TOUCH
Let me know when you are in town! You can reach me via email or leave a phone message