Via dei Biffi is a tiny little street 100 meters from the Duomo, so small it’s almost unnoticeable, nestled between Via Ricasoli and Via Martelli.
It’s really little more than a passageway between the two larger, crowded streets of the city center. However, if you happen to pass there at 6:30 pm on a Sunday, you can hear music coming out of the windows at Via dei Biffi, 1.
What is this, a party? A community center? Some cultural group?
You see them enter, all these international students of the universities and colleges of Florence. On the door you see written, “Florence Gospel Fellowship.”
Your curiosity piqued, you poke your head through the doorway just to take a look and find young men and women singing in English, some standing with their arms outstretched, others sitting with eyes closed, while still others have clasped hands together.
You step inside and feel the welcoming atmosphere wrapping around you like a warm blanket, finding yourself trying to follow along and even join in with the heart-warming gospel music.
Then you hear that they are telling their “life stories,” sharing what God has done in their lives recently that truly changed them. It’s true. These are those same international students you see walking to school every other day of the week. They travel thousands of kilometers to study abroad for six months in our city, wanting to learn about our rich culture, history and traditions.
But, through their own lives, they encourage us to rediscover the roots of our faith – the faith that has inspired so many artistic masterpieces which have made not just our city but our entire nation famous around the world.
The Florence Gospel Fellowship is an organization which, in conjunction with “Il Varco dei Biffi onlus,” seeks to offer students in Florence an alternative environment to the many bars and pubs here in the city.
Il Varco is a community center located on Via dei Biffi, 1, which provides a variety of services, from English and Italian language classes to Internet access, a coffee house environment to gospel choir practice, weekly Bible studies to a meeting point for various international, inter-denominational Christian church groups.
We at Florence Gospel Fellowship have a motto that want to share with you:
Whether you are here in Florence
on a study abroad semester,
for a few days as a tourist
or a longer stay,
we welcome you!
We are an English language
International Gospel Based Christian Fellowship
in the heart of Florence, Italy.
An evangelical church where you and your family
can feel at home,
as you are
encouraged, inspired, supported, and enriched
in your Christian experience.
Come and fellowship with us!
You are very welcome!
Article by : Maurizio Secondi Florence Gospel Fellowship