Marcello, our professor took us to the Ospedale degli Innocenti, a beautiful hospital built by Filippo Brunelleschi and funded by Arte della Seta, the silk merchants' guild. The Ospedale sought to end the unspoken problems of illegitimate children birthed from priests, nuns, and friars. Back then, the mortality rate for abandoned children soared above 80%. To combat those high mortality rates, the hospital took these foundlings and bastard children in. They raised, fed, and educated the children into contributing members of Florentine society.
The next day we watched, the Nutcracker at Teatro Verdi, a beautiful theater along Via Ghibellina. All my childhood memories rushed back to me as soon as the sugar plum fairies stepped onto stage...what a night!