What on earth is this I exclaimed? It’s a two-in-one you see replied my father. But this is not an ice cream to which he smiled and replied that it’s a two in one music system having both a cassette player and a radio tuner. It was the 80’s and it was the era of disco and boom box. My father had just got home a new Akai two one and I was stuck to it like a magnet. I knew what a cassette player was and even knew how a radio functioned with the SW (Short Wave) and MW (Medium Wave) buttons but this one had an FM button and that was something new to me.
At night my father extended the antenna and switched on the radio while he was locating radio stations by turning the tuner dial I asked him about FM. Frequency Modulation he replied, it’s like radio but with stereo audio but you won’t be able to hear anything now as there are no functioning FM channels in India. Maybe if you travel abroad someday you will be able to hear FM. By the way, he asked do you know who invented the radio? I did not know the answer so he replied that it was J C Bose who had first identified radio signals but it was Marconi who the world credit it to as Bose could not spread the word of his discovery to the world.
Fortunately, I did not have to wait for a foreign travel to listen to the magic of FM in the very next decade AIR (All India Radio) started broadcasting in FM and things just went to the next level. I was glued to it especially with the flow of western music which previously I had limited access to suddenly were at my fingertips. I would record them on blank taped and create my own mix tapes for which even I would ask my sister to create handmade customized cassette covers. The only reason I could sail through mathematics in school was all thanks to FM, I played music in light volume in my room and kept practicing mathematics.
Forwarding some thirty years and one fine May afternoon I was strolling through Basilica di Santa Croce in the city of Florence, Italy when my wife tapped on my shoulder and pointed out to a plaque in the wall. I had to read it twice to believe what I was reading; it was a memorial plaque to none other than Guglielmo Marconi the inventor of radio communications.
Florence has a lot to offer and personally for me it was more interesting than that of Rome. For me, it was a beautiful city where if given a chance I would like to spend the rest of my life writing blogs one after the other. My wife wanted to skip Florence for Turin but I insisted in Florence as I had read quite a lot about it and I found it more interesting. There are so many things that you can see here thus I would recommend spending at least a couple of days to know and experience the city.
Basilica di Santa Croce
Trust me when I say that you need at least half a day to see around this church. From the outside, it might look like just another church in Italy but what’s inside is what makes it so important. Located in front of an open square it’s a place where you can just simply relax. All around this square you will find numerous restaurants and do not be surprised if you bump into some Michelin star restaurants located in some obscure corner. There are lots of friendly pigeons out here and its officially not allowed to feed them but tourist just love to have them all around.
If by chance you have any leftover breadcrumbs, then just put them on your palm and wait for the pigeons to land upon you.
What Not to Miss
This church is often referred to as the “Temple of the Italian glories” simply because of the people that have either been buried here or have their memorial plaques installed inside the church.
Once you enter you will definitely be confused as to what to see and what to skip so I would suggest that you start from one side and slowly proceed from one section to the other. There is information board in multiple languages thus do take time to read them. First and foremost, marvel at the classic architecture, you would be left in awe at the beautiful frescos and the marble arches.
You will find smaller rooms within the main church which are actually chapels and there are a total of 16 such chapels around the church.
Some of the important tombs present inside the church would be that of Michelangelo Buonarroti, Galileo Galilei, Dante Alighieri, Niccolò Machiavelli, Gioacchino Rossini, Ugo Foscolo, Vittorio Alfieri and others.
Things don’t end here, there is another section within the compound known as the Opera’s Museum and Refectory where you will find the giant frescos which include The Last Supper painted by Taddeo Gaddi.
Things to Keep in Mind
This is a church and when entering you need to follow a dress code. Short pants and short top or t-shirts are not allowed both for men and women. Your shorts should be till your knee and t-shirts should cover your tummy and should have a minimum of a short sleeve.
Open to visitors
Monday to Saturday 9.30 AM to 5.30 PM
Sunday & Religious Holidays 2.00 PM to 5.30 PM
8 Euro = For All
6 Euro = Children 11- 17
Free = Children under 11