The rain continued throughout the night and into the next morning. Today, our plan was to go to Santa Croce in the morning, followed by an afternoon of small group conferences. We decided to flip the schedule and start conferences at 10:00, break for lunch, and then take off for Santa Croce at 2:30.

These small group conferences are a way to check-in with everyone at the half-way point of the program. They have always produced a good number of suggestions for future programs, a genuine assessment of how things are going for everyone, and a way to make alterations in the upcoming weeks based on ideas that are brought forth.

We saved two groups to meet with tomorrow so we could have enough time at Santa Croce. By inverting our schedule for the day, we were able to walk to the church in the sunshine. The lines to get in were longer than we are used to, but in a short time we entered the church. Santa Croce was a very wealthy church when Arnolfio di Cambio designed it to accommodate the large number of worshippers dedicated to the life and teaching of San Francesco. Chapels were embellished with the financial support of Florence’s most prestigious families who employed artists such as Giotto and Taddeo Gaddi.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Many people come to visit the tombs of Florence’s elite team: Michelangelo, Galileo, Dante and others.

Beyond the church is Brunelleschi’s Pazzi Chapel, two cloisters, and the museum that houses works of art taken from the church after the devastating flood of 1966. Cimabue’s Crucifix is a testimony to the effects of the flood on the ecclesiastic art of Santa Croce.