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Date: Sunday, August 10, 1958
Place: Florence
Weather: Nice

Judy S. and I slept ’til 9:30 in spite of Sue’s pounding on the door at some ungodly hour! On the way to mass we stopped at the desk where I had a cable from Dad – he’s sending $200.00 to Nice, and the cute little Italian who saw me in my pants and bra last night was flirting with me!

We stopped for fresh orange juice, coffee and pastry and then went to St. Mary of the Flowers Cathedral. It certainly is a beautiful church.

When we got back we got into the elevator and my little Italian wouldn’t let the elevator boy take us down he had to! What a panic! Judy H. and I sacked out ’til time for lunch – should have slept through that too – found a live worm in my peach!

Slept ’til 4:00 (must have sleeping sickness) and then Sue and I went shopping again. Met John and Jamie (fine Arts tour Leader – real cute) and they took us to this neat leather shop where I got three beautiful belts for 21.00 – they only sell to Lord and Taylor’s in New York, and some other presents. Back in time for supper where we had fun with the Brothers, and as I stopped for my key at the desk, the Italian asked me out! Not too funny. I suddenly became engaged to Bill B. who was really getting a charge out of the deal. Ten of us went out for pizza and I had two with mushrooms (fungi).

(Having to borrow everyone’s pens, mine ran out of ink!!)


Note: Other expenses listed while in Florence are three leather belts – $21.00, silk tie for Dad – 96 cents, leather ashtray for Dad – $3.75, and jewelry for presents – $2.50.

The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower (Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore) is one of the world’s largest churches was designed by architect Arnolfo di Cambio. Construction began in 1296 on the site of another cathedral dedicated to St. Reparata. The project was driven by the development of large cathedrals in nearby Pisa and Siena.

The cathedral, also known simply as the Duomo, took 140 years to reach its completion. In 1412, it was dedicated to Santa Maria del Fiore (Saint Mary of the Flower), referring to the lily, the symbol of Florence.

The dome, designed by architect Filippo Brunelleschi was the first octagonal dome in history to be built without the use of flying buttresses or other supporting frames. It is this structural achievement that is credited as marking the beginning of the Italian Renaissance.

St. Mary of the Flower Cathedral

St. Mary of the Flower Cathedral (Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore). Image courtesy of Giulio Chiappini via a Creative Commons license.

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