Florence and Santuario della Madonna del Divino Amore (Rome)

I spent Thanksgiving in Florence, Italy, with my friend Debra McElhaney, who just upped and moved there a year ago from North Dakota! (Rock on, Debra!)

We longed for a good ‘ole turkey dinner and had arrangements at a Florentine cooking school to have just that. But the dinner was canceled at the last minute, so we went instead to the Four Seasons. Let’s just say, I’d rather have pumpkin pie with whipped cream than a flying saucer custard and pumpkin-tinged gelato with pumpkin-flavored “sauce drops.”

florence_divinoamoreThe column of photos is from Florence, including the famous “Ponte Vecchio” and the amazing-looking Duomo. I know it’s a beloved city by many, and it is certainly picturesque. But I’ve been here three times now, and for some reason, I just don’t connect with the city. Who knows…

The top right photo is probably the best “train photo” I’ve ever gotten. Usually they are mucked up by window reflections, but this one! Wow! No color correction or anything on this.

Below that is heading up to the Santuario della Madonna del Divino Amore (Shrine of Our Lady of Diving Love) in the countryside on the outskirts of Rome. The placards you see on the wall on your left are called “Grazia Ricevuta,” or “grace received.” When parishioners have had prayers answered, they may buy one of these marble placards inscribing their gratitude. Below that is the older of two churches on the property (this one built in 1745).

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