9 February 2016
The tour...
Finding out more…
Useful notes…

The tour...

  • We’re in Piazza Ognissanti and we’re going to visit the church called Ognissanti where we’ll see frescos by Ghirlandaio and Botticelli who is buried in a chapel there. A crucifix by Giotto from the beginning of the 14th century and wonderfully restored is conspicuous.
  • Next we go to Santa Maria Novella with its lovely Renaissance mosaic façade. The Gothic interior houses 16th-century masterpieces by Masaccio and Ghirlandaio and also the elaborate decoration of the large “green” Chapel degli Spagnoli (of the Spaniards).
  • We then go to San Lorenzo, a typical example of a Renaissance church commissioned by Cosimo the Old. There are numerous works of art by Donatello inside.
  • Florence Cathedral, where we could stay for hours, looking in wonder at its cupola decorated by Vasari and Zuccari, and the play of colours and forms of the inlaid marble of the bell tower. The Romanesque baptistery and its three bronze doors are not to be missed.
  • Next we go across Piazza Santissima Annunziata to look at the lovely door in the Ospedale degli Innocenti, before deciphering the frescos in the Voti Cloister, the most important cycle in Florentine art between the 15th and 16th centuries (Rosso Fiorentino, Pontormo, Andrea del Sarto…)
  • We then go to Santa Croce passing the Badia Fiorentina, the largest of the old monasteries in Florence.
  • We next come to Piazza Santa Croce and the church (also called Santa Croce) which has innumerable works of art including frescos by Giotto and Taddeo Gaddi, tombstones and monuments to people buried elsewhere by Galileo, Michelangelo, Macchiavelli, Alfieri, Rossini and many others, the Pazzi chapel, a masterpiece by Brunelleschi, the museum with a crucifix by Cimabue, symbol of the damage done in Florence during the flood in 1966, and other medieval masterpieces.
  • We cross the Arno to go to Brunelleschi’s Church of the Santo Spirito and see the crucifix made by the young Michelangelo, a painting by Filippino Lippi and also a wonderful canopy.
  • We finish with the Church of the Carmine and, of course, the Brancacci Chapel with its marvellous cycle of frescos by Masaccio, Masolino and Filippino Lippi. A masterpiece of Renaissance painting.


Finding out more…

Another two important churches: San Miniato al Monte, a splendid Romanesque-Gothic building on a hill outside Florence, on an enchanting terrace and seen from all over the city, and San Marco, whose monastery has, amongst other things, frescos by Sogliani, Ghirlandaio and Fra Angelico.

Useful notes…

  • The following churches charge for entry: Santa Croce, San Lorenzo and Santa Maria Novella.
  • There is now a bike hire service in Florence as well as pedal rickshaws. Ideal for getting quickly from one piazza to another.
  • Florence is easily reached by train. If you want a comfortable tour with a private driver, call me, without commitment, for a price

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