Our first tour of a basilica was Santa Croce. As we walked up to it I was again struck with awe at the ornamentation on these edifices. (Oh, the whole trip was me being in awe of what I was seeing…) Pattern and ornament, mosaic and fresco, basalt and marble to create color contrast. Masterful combination of materials. I could take pictures inside (without flash) so I used my iPhone to catch what I could.
Cleaning mosaics with a tooth brush, preserving surfaces with a tiny brush, restoring stained glass. Yummy!
This was my first introduction to pietra serena (serene stone), a beautiful grey blue stone in this instance combined with gold
As we walked to the inner courtyard, we came upon a small chapel that when I think about the entire trip it was one of my favorite places we visited. It was designed by Brunelleschi and had lovely columns, pilasters, arches, and vaults. Plus constellation frescoes. This chapel was begun in 1441 and completed in the 1460’s and is called Capella dei Pazzi (the family that financed it, second to the Medicis). The acoustics inside are beautiful.
Good read: Brunelleschi’s Dome by Ross King
Good flic: A Room with a View