June 7, 2022

Leaving Florence was difficult. It seemed that everywhere you turned, there was a sculpture by Michelangelo or a painting of Leonardo Da Vinci’s. Donatello: The Renaissance Exhibit brought together a once-in-a-lifetime collection of his works, as well as the works of others he inspired. And the meals we had were so good.

We were originally scheduled to to visit Padua today to visit the tomb of St. Luke, but instead proceeded directly to Venice so we would have more time to explore The City of Canals. As Florence was the center of Renaissance art, Venice was home to composers such as Antonio Vivaldi.

The boat ride into Venice was breath-taking, entering a city with no roads but 150 canals. Our guide took us on a tour of the city, including St. Mark’s Basilica housing relics (i.e. the bones) of author of the second Gospel. We’ve seen so many relics we’ve decided we need some of our own at St. Luke’s so when Dr. Long talks about “the saints on whose shoulders we stand,” it’s a literal statement!

During our free time in Venice, we explored the Rialto Bridge and several took gondola rides through the Grand Canal. Tomorrow, we visit Padua and we leave Italy for a Tyrollean Village near Innsbruck, Austria.

We have an absolutely wonderful and fun group making this journey to Oberammergau. If you’ve not been part of one of our trips, you should definitely start planning for our next trip to Holy Land. Experiencing how God has acted in history – and doing it with friends – has been one of the best parts of my spiritual journey.

Chris Lambert