|Postcard: San Apollinare performance|
The Yuma Youth Choir sang in the Basilica de San Apollinare in Classe near Ravenna, Italy. The church contains fully restored mosaics from the Byzantine era.
|Postcard: San Vitale performance|
The Yuma Youth Choir gives an impromptu performance in the Basilica de San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy while touring the Byzantine church.
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History, mosaics and music
I'm sitting on a bus crossing the Italian countryside and the choir is practicing in the back, serenading us on our way to Florence with haunting harmonies from sacred songs.
Most of our time was spent on the bus today and the choir has a big day is tomorrow where they'll sing a full hour of music in one of Florence's smaller cathedrals. Where better to practice than while en route to the next city? It was work with Dr. Tibbs for the kids, but a treat for those of us along for the ride.
The next best thing to riding a gondola with an actual singing boatman is traveling with a student choir and staring out the window at passing scenery of green farmland.
Wherever you look in Italy you can see the history - the buildings are full of character, the countryside filled with grapes bursting from their trellises, and churches of every shape and size are everywhere. Every few miles you can pick out another bell tower, another small basilica nestled between farms.
We're in prime farming country today. Our guide, Flavio, recommended purchasing fruit for lunch today along the route to Ravenna. Ravenna is on the way to Florence and home to eight sites considered to be world heritage areas. We saw two - The Basilcia de San Vitale and San Apollinare - and the choir sang in both.
San Vitale was a beautiful wonder in mosaic tile. The space is wonderful for singing, allowing the sound to bounce in a haunting fashion.
We ended the day with a fantastic buffet dinner and most turned in early as we have a long day ahead of us tomorrow. Until then, chiao and watch for more photos and videos coming soon.