The Last Weekend!
This post will have everything about my weekend except for my final performance videos and after pictures, which are in the process of being uploaded and which I will post as their own blog post.
Friday afternoon, after our dress rehearsals, Natalie and I went to the Duomo to see the Baptistry and climb to the top of the dome! Though Natalie suffered from being a bit scared of heights, she made it up just fine and we were able to take some wonderful pictures of the city of Florence. It was also up there that I realized just how many churches there are in Florence. The clock struck 6 pm and it seemed like bells were coming from absolutely everywhere. Very happy I got to check this off of my Florence to-do list.
Saturday, the program provided us with a trip to the Uffizi Gallery, which is one of the real major art galleries of the world. It includes the Boticelli Venus and La Primavera, the Medusa, and the original little old man baby Jesus painting. The gallery also has a rooftop cafe where we could see great views of the Palazzo Vecchio and the Duomo.
Sunday Morning, I got up at about 6:30 and went to 7:30 mass at the Duomo by myself - what an experience. There were no screaming babies, no toddlers running around, no annoying tourists trying to take pictures while the actual mass was going on. It was even the priest's birthday! This wasn't just an ordinary priest either, it was Don Alessandro Pacchia! An American film maker just made a movie about his life, and he started off our mass by inviting everyone in attendance at mass to come to the premier of his movie. Unfortunately, however, I would be out of town too soon. Click HERE to see a trailer and description of the film.
Later on Sunday morning, most of the program attended a church service at the Episcopal Church where we were doing our rehearsals and coachings and performances. Three students performed, and I unfortunately asked about singing too late to be one of them, but I did end up playing piano for all of them! That was a really fun experience. Veronica Richer sang an amazing version of "Amazing Grace" (which I'll upload if I can get the recording from her), Sam Bramm sang a very touching "Pie Jesu" from the Faure Requiem, and Katherine Cotten sang her soul out in her rendition of "Deep River". It was a beautiful service.
All day Sunday, a car show was on display in the square right by our apartment building and right on the Arno River, full of some of the most gorgeous cars in the world. So to all you car enthusiasts out there, please enjoy a couple of photos.