Sunday, April 24, 2016

Day 28: More rain, church and cooking class #2!

It rained most of the night but it didn't stop the partyers. The last time they woke me up (not that I slept a lot) was 3:30. Ugh! 

It's Sunday so I headed next door to St. James for the 11:00 service.

Our friend Julia read the first lesson.

The rector preached a wonderful sermon all around the theme of vision. He talked about his experience the days before at a  Church Pension Group (CPG) Wellness program in Rome where the participants were asked to vision what various forms of wellness would look like for them. He quoted a member of CPG who said to the group, "a vision without action is only a dream".  It is taken from a longer saying which I found later when I returned to the townhouse --
"Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world."-- Joel A. Barker

That is going to stick with me for the rest of my sabbatical and ministry-- you know how something really HITS you some days -- that hit me. Hard. Thank you Holy Spirit and Mark+!
One very disconcerting thing happened during the service -- at the end of the Eucharistic prayer as the ushers were at the first pew ready to send people up for communion a woman came in with her dog, and walked up the aisle filming the church with her iPhone. She walked past the ushers and just stopped short of the altar and kept filming. She then went down a side aisle and walked around, continuing to film. This went on all during communion and she didn't stop or leave until during the post communion hymn. What the? Aargh! No one stopped her and when I asked the usher if this is normal here she told me she had not seen anything like it before and didn't know what to do about it.

We got off to a late start as a group as Steve threw his back out -- lunch at trattoria Baldini's in the neighborhood -- great tagatelle bolognese for me and a salad. Yum. 

It's still raining so we didn't venture too far,  but we did go for coffee after lunch in the neighborhood:
Then we were off to the Galileo museum -- but with a lovely albeit rainy walk next to the Arno:

The museum is dedicated to Galileo but has many more instruments, etc. in it. I did find a few of Galileo's pieces:

What was very interesting was the ornate wood carvings and decorations on almost all the pieces -- they were used for science but they were aesthetically pleasing!

After the museum we went for more coffee and gelato. 

Back to the townhouse to rest and then -- COOKING CLASS!

We had the same teachers as last time -- perfect! Here are a few pix of Steve and our finished product and some pix of the teachers:

And done!

We headed back after an enjoyable evening and all went to bed -- happy and full!

Just a few side notes from the day -- 
A funny umbrella was purchased by one of our group who didn't bring an umbrella -- not realizing they bought -- yes-- a LOVE umbrella!:

Great lock:

And what I think was an old wine door:
Have you ever noticed those small little windows in the walls of the old palazzi in Florence—not really windows at all but more like Lilliputian doorsMiniature copies of their full size counterparts, the main entrances to each palazzo, these tiny doors are made of solid wood, sometimes decorated with carvings or iron studs, and even have their own little knocker. They come complete with jambs and Romanesque or Gothic style arches hewn in the local stone. Whatever were they for? Too high and far too small even for children, but also too low to be windows. From

Steps today: 16,967 6.53 miles. Not bad in the rain!


  1. I am a big fan of Florence. And our parish, too.

  2. Thanks, Pierre! And thank you for your prior permission to let me preach and celebrate here -- it was a great honor! What a wonderful group of people here!

  3. I'd love to know how to take a cooking class while in Florence, do send the details when you get a chance!