Bus 15, 16, and 17 pilgrims left Venice this morning for Florence, where they enjoyed a walking tour and Mass at the towering example of Renaissance architecture, Duomo de Santa Maria Del Fiore (St Mary of the Flowers Church, also known as Florence Cathedral) before travelling to their accomodation for the next two days in Assisi.
Pilgrims exclaimed at the picturesque views when they first glimpsed the Tuscan city. With it’s golden glow, terraced vineyards, austere green cypress trees and the impressive Duomo laid out beneath them, the second stop of the Venice to Rome pilgrimage made for a beautiful photo opportunity.
It became a beautiful opportunity for reflection too, when in his homily newly ordained priest and Bus 17 chaplain Fr Daniel Russo spoke about the contradiction of the Church. He called on the pilgrims to be a force for positive change within it, noting the impact the Royal Commission has had on the Catholic faith and drawing parallels between Florence’s own Medici family, which produced three Popes in the 16th century and was better known for its ruthless ambition, political power, and wealth that for the qualities of humility and mercy that are integral to the World Youth Day 2016 pilgrimage.
Pilgrims also visited Santa Croce Basilica, known for its great art and the tomb of Michelangelo.
Learning some more about Florence’s culture and language from tour director Pia on the bus introduced a new tongue twister as the Florentines pronounce the ‘ch’ sound in cappucino and chocolatte, as a ‘h’ sound.