Today we’ll explore the medieval Baptistry with its incredible mandala-like mosaic ceiling illustrating the layers of creation from divine to angelic to human. In the Duomo Museum Professor Beaufort will engage us to discover stories encoded in art, including Donatello’s haunting Mary Magdalene, Ghiberti’s luminous Gates of Paradise, and Michelangelo’s Pieta, which contains a self-portrait. After lunch, Professor Beaufort will explain Masaccio’s revolutionary Brancacci Chapel, which ignited the Renaissance in painting.

In the late afternoon, we will pilgrimage by van to San Miniato on the mountain, an exquisite 1000-year old church. Those who wish can attend Mass in the crypt. Then we will all listen to the monks sing melodious and moving Gregorian chant. Afterwards we’ll stroll down the hill to the Piazzale Michelangelo to enjoy dinner with a panoramic view of Florence.