A hike up the hill to San Mineato al Monte for a drawing session. This 11th-century church is the oldest existing religious structure in Florence, right after the Baptistery.

The students spent several hours drawing and were able to put into use some of the techniques they learned on Wednesday. The vista from San Mineato allows yet another fabulous view of the Florentine skyline. The church itself with a beautiful green and white marble facade also provided a good subject for drawing.

San Mineato was a third-century Christian who was decapitated by anti-Christian mobs in Florence. Story has it that he grabbed his severed head and headed up the hill to a cave. The current church stands on the site of a previous 8th-century structure dedicated to the saint. There is also an incredible cemetery that surrounds the church.

The Olivetan monks who maintain the church are also known for concocting elixirs and potions for a wide range of maladies. Several of us bought the ointment for mosquito bites which have left our group somewhat spotted.

Several groups were departing for the weekend, heading to Naples, Rome and the Cinque Terre. About 1/2 of us will remain in Florence for the weekend.

Great end to a fabulous first week!