John has gone off to the Uffizi for an hour or so. It's a glorious day, 77 forecast high. We have settled on the strategy of opening up the apartment in the morning to the breezes and coolness, then closing it late in the day to prevent stealth mosquito attacks at night. So far, so good!
Just under one hundred feet away from our door is Santo Stefano Al Ponte, a church started about 1100 and now used by arts organizations for performances. Thursday and Saturday evenings we went to performances there, first by an oboist and pianist, then by a baritone and pianist. Quite enjoyable! In both cases they were fairly young musicians and the audiences numbered only 30 or so. The acoustics for the baritone singing operatic arias were particularly effective!
On Friday afternoon we took our first bus ride, up to Piazzale Michelangelo to get that view of the city again, and then walked up to the church of San Miniato Al Monte for their 5:30 mass with Gregorian chant. Those participating in the service and communion actually sat in the lower level, called the crypt, in back of the altar, but we could hear well while sitting in the altar area. The church and the service had a very spiritual feeling and we stayed for the entire mass, a very refreshing end to another hot day.