Today was the first time that an out-of-town visitor contacted me from my blog to meet up. Carmen, a vibrant and bubbly Spanish woman who lives in Chicago, emailed me a while back to tell me that she was going to be studying in Florence for a few weeks. I was delighted when she asked to meet up with me. I was even happier that her plan was to visit my favorite church, San Miniato.
We met in front of Ferragamo near the Ponte Santa Trinità and walked along the Arno, across the Ponte Vecchio, and into San Niccolò area. We walked up the staircase to Piazzale Michelangelo where we stopped along the way to take in the view.
Our first stop was the San Miniato church. We crossed the street at the cross-walk with caution as cars zipped by and weren't about to stop for us.
I took the picture shown here from the small cemetery to the right of the steps that lead up to the church.
We went inside the church and it took a few moments for our eyes to adjust to the dark interior. There are no lights except for those that people pay 1 Euro to turn on in different areas. We were pleased to light a few candles in the lower area of the church. Many churches in Florence have replaced the candles for lights that you pay to light up, so it is a treat to find real candles that we could light.
Carmen seemed quite happy to visit the church that she's had a glimpse of from different parts of Florence, like the Boboli gardens. San Miniato doesn't exactly dominate the city, but it lingers above and entices many people to visit it.
We took a few pictures of the city as it gleamed in the spring sun. It was wonderful to spend some time with Carmen, who is as solare (radiant, sunny) as the day on which we were able to meet.
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