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Santa Maria Novella, Campanile: Sunday, March 14, 2010

The boys woke a little later on this beautiful Sunday morning.  The sun was bright, the air cool—a perfect Florentine day.  Mass at Ognissanti by the Arno, then off to Santa Maria Novella to view Alberti’s spectacular facade.  Italian mass was a treat albeit a little long.  Guest lecturer Ralph Harvard explained that the last volute on the façade of Santa Maria Novella was not completed until the 20th century, leaving the façade lopsided for more than 500 years.  Inside it was Masaccio’s Holy Trinity, Giotto’s seventeen-foot-tall 13th century Crucifix and Donatello’s wooded crucifix that caught the attention of the boys.  We then moved in behind the altar to the Tornabuoni Chapel to view, in situ, the incredible Ghirlandaio frescos depicting the life of Mary and the life of John the Baptist.

Lunch was outdoors in Piazza della Signoria at Lorenzaccio.

After pizza and pasta it was a math lab problem and sketching.  Using a few instruments, the boys had to determine the height of Giotto’s Tower, the Campanile.  Upon completion, we began the steep climb up 414 steps to the top of the Campanile for one of the most memorable views in Florence.  Mr. Imbelli did make it to the top, despite any and all stories to the contrary.  Coaches Morales and Murphy cruised to the top with ease, while the remaining faculty kept an eye on the bags and waved enthusiastically.

Four boys exhibited symptoms of upper respiratory infection—no strep; all have been treated and at this writing, feel better.  Others are all healthy.  Everyone is happy.  Big day.  Dinner now.



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