It’s been a few decades since i’ve last been to Museo Nazionale di San Marco, and a recent visit had me thinking, why so long? I love this ancient Dominican complex; rich with history, masterpieces of Renaissance art, priceless manuscripts in its amazing library, and my absolute favorite part on the 2nd floor, the cells where Dominican monks once called home and housed the likes of Fra Angelico and Savonarola!
However, this visit would have an even deeper meaning. You see, my friend Lucia invited me to her concert, “Ben Venga Maggio.” It was a last minute invite as I had recently arrived in Firenze. How lucky for me to be there at the right time! I can’t begin to explain what it does for your soul, to have your ears graced by Lucia’s sweet sounds of Renaissance and Baroque music, along with her chorus, while sitting in this centuries-old gem.
A brief background here of our own history: Lucia, and her husband Giovanni, quickly became dear friends of mine, and it all happened by chance. Don’t you love it when synchronicity just charms the pants off of you and friendships form so easily and naturally?
Allora, rewind to approximately 4 years ago. I saw an ad, that for the first time ever, 23 masterpieces by Donatello, Brunelleschi, Luca della Robbia & more were coming to New York City to be exhibited at the Museum of Biblical Art (since closed, peccato). “Sculpture in the Age of Donatello: Renaissance Masterpieces from Florence Cathedral,” was to be led by Professor Giovanni Guidetti. To sweeten the experience, the official organist (at that time), of the “Duomo” of Firenze, Lucia Baldacci, would be performing a concert at the Christ & St. Stephen’s Church the night before.
Now, if you know me, you know that I jump at the chance of the slightest hint of Firenze being in the apple. Yes, I am fully committed (or should be) and in love with the Renaissance gem. So needless to say I immediately bought tickets for both.
The concert came first and admittedly, I shed some tears. Lucia’s music moved me so much. I made sure to tell her so, and at that point also discovered that it would be her husband Giovanni leading the art tour the next day! Being expertly guided through the exhibit by Giovanni, and oh so close to those masterpieces, well tears once again would flow. Truly soul-stirring. By the end of the second day we were friends and promised to keep in touch.
This brings me back to my recent stay in Firenze, the concert, and as luck would have it, a few days later we would meet up for an official Firenze Aperitivo. We chatted and laughed and shared what life has been since we last saw each other…and all in Italian!! Ahh La Dolce Vita.
If you’re in Firenze I highly encourage you to check out one of Lucia’s concerts. If you’re on Facebook you can follow her at Lucia Baldacci, Estro Armonico Fiorentio and/or Firenze: Musica e Arte.
And as for Giovanni he is Insegnante alla Sacred Art School di Firenze and provides personal tours as well. If you are interested you can reach out to me and I’ll personally connect you.
Lastly, I recommend putting Museo Nazionale di San Marco on your itinerary. It is a a place of inspiration and awe. Click HERE for information.
I leave you now with some of the sights and sounds of my wonderful experience. I hope you enjoy!
Big Love, PatriciaG
If you feel so inclined, I’d love it if you left a comment below. Grazie!