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Santo Spirito

This basilica boasts some of the best in Renaissance interior design, courtesy of Brunelleschi.

TravelCurious Tip

Right next to the church you will find Trattoria La Casalinga. Head there for some traditional Florentine fare, but go early — they don’t take reservations

The Basilica di Santo Spirito is found in the Oltrarno quarter of Florence, opening onto the Piazza Santo Spirito. A church was first built on this site in the 13th century. The locus was no stranger to drama: in a district where some of the richest and the poorest of Florence were thrown together, this politically explosive mix gave rise to sensational assassinations and numerous uprisings — many of which took place quite literally on the steps of the church.


However, after the Florentines defeated the Milanese in 1397 on the feast day of St Augustine it was decided that the church should be rebuilt to honour the saint. The renowned architect Brunelleschi was brought on board, and though he died before the church’s completion it seems to have been built more or less according to his designs. Its interior is considered to be one of Florence’s preeminent examples of Renaissance architecture.


Sideways

Brunelleschi’s designs included thirty eight niche-chapels running around the inside of the church walls. The left hand portion in particular contains some exceptionally complete examples of 15th century chapels, among them the Bini Capponi Chapel with Botticini’s St. Monica and the Augustinian Nuns. Another chapel in the transept contains grating through which the Frescobaldi family were able to hear the liturgy without having to leave their palazzo next door.


Body of Lies

Although possibly apocryphal, some say that the church’s crucifix was sculpted by a seventeen year old Michelangelo. He allegedly created it in exchange for being allowed to make anatomical studies of the corpses coming from the convent’s hospital.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Florence
Loggia dei Lanzi
Beloved since the 14th century for its superb arches, the Loggia is today an open-air museum of Renaissance sculpture.
Piazza della Signoria
Overlooked by the imposing Palazzo Vecchio and the Loggia dei Lanzi, this square is one of the city’s focal points.
Ponte Vecchio
The 'Old Bridge' over the river Arno is famous for its traditional jewellery shops and art dealers.
Uffizi Gallery
A magnificent 16th century building housing one of the world's foremost collections of Primitive and Renaissance art.
Palazzo Pitti
A vast 15th century palace commissioned by the ambitious Florentine banker Luca Pitti, housing an important collection of Renaissance paintings.
Boboli Gardens
In the heart of Florence is this charming green gem, an illustrious Renaissance garden teeming with sculptures.

Related Tours

Private Walking Tour -Culture & Architecture inc Santa Maria Del Fiore Tickets
This 6-hour walking tour is perfect for art enthusiasts and culture vultures, giving you the knowledge and time to explore Florence with a local, professional expert. . 

  • Commence your tour at the Piazza del Duomo
  • Explore the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and the Baptistry of St John
  • Walk past the unique Duomo
  • Visit the antique Florentine Quarter
  • Pay a visit to Piazza della Signoria, passing the Palazzo Vecchio and the Loggia dei Lanzi
  • Pass by the much celebrated Uffizi Gallery, home to an impressive collection of Renaissance art
  • Cross over the Ponte Vecchio, towards Palazzo Pitti
  • Enjoy a short stop at the Church of Santo Spirito
  • Conclude at the Quarter of Santa Croce
You will begin this fabulous walking tour of Florence by visiting the Piazza del Duomo where you will explore the superb Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and the Baptistry of St John. You will venture inside the unique Duomo- famous for Brunelleschi’s Dome, which took 140 years to complete. Look out for the octagonal Baptistry, built over 70 years and named after the Saint Protector of Florence- San Giovanni. 

Antique Florentine Quarter

Your next stop will be to the antique Florentine Quarter where the talented Dante Alighieri used to live. You will pay a visit to Piazza della Signoria, where you may find yourself captivated by the Palazzo Vecchio and the Loggia dei Lanzi. Originally the seat of power for the ruling elite of the Republic of Florence, the Palazzo Vecchio is now the town hall and a symbol of the Tuscan capital. Builtin the 14th century, the charming Loggia dei Lanzi is a masterpiece of Florentine Renaissance architecture and now hosts remarkable Renaissance sculptures.

A short walk on and you will also pass the celebrated Uffizi Gallery, home to some wonderful creations by the Italian Renaissance greats of Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo and many others. The world-famous medieval bridge Ponte Vecchio is well worth a visit with its many quaint craft shops selling small souvenirs, lovely jewellery and beautiful paintings. 

Renaissance Florence 

After crossing the Ponte Vecchio you will have the opportunity to stroll by the 15th century Palazzo Pitti, which always hosts several museums and rotating exhibitions.  Its sublime Boboli Gardens are some of the grandest open-air museums Italy has to offer, boasting wonderful sculptures, picturesque fountains and magical grottos.

Your tour also includes a quick visit to the Church of Santo Spirito. Initially drafted by the immensely talented Brunelleschi; it was finally completed years after his death in the late 15th century. You will complete your journey with a short stroll around the Quarter of Santa Croce, which takes its name from the scenic church of Santa Croce, the largest Franciscan church in the world.
Private Walking Tour of Michelangelo’s Florence inc Tickets to Galleria dell’ Accademia
This full-day tour of Florence's Renaissance artwork and architecture is a must for all culture vultures. 

  • Commence your tour at the Piazza del Duomo 
  • Pass the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and the Baptistery of St John
  • Walk towards the antique Florentine Quarter 
  • Learn about Italy's political elite at the Palazzo Vecchio 
  • Pass the Uffizi Gallery, and cross over the Ponte Vecchio (medieval bridge)
  • Conclude your tour at the Galleria dell’ Accademia 
  • Learn about Renaissance artwork, and skip-the-line to see Michelangelo’s David
Discover the highlights of Florence and follow an expert and entertaining guide to the most significant places through the historical center and learn about the amazing history of the city from the time it was the capital of Renaissance to the time it became the capital of early unified Italy.

Start your experience touring the religious center of the city: admire the Duomo, whose impressive Dome was designed by Brunelleschi, and the Baptistery of Saint John, one of the oldest buildings in Florence.

From the religious center, you will walk to the political center, and enjoy a pleasant stroll through Piazza della Signoria, surrounded by its ancient buildings and the Loggia dei Lanzi. In this open air museum we will see original masterpieces by Giambologna and Cellini. From there, you'll cross the famous Ponte Vecchio, the medieval bridge on the Arno River, we will end this tour in the prestigious Accademia Gallery, where, at your own pace, we will explore stunning artwork, including Michelangelo's David.
The Beauty and Craft of Florence - Private Walking Tour inc Tickets
Explore the finest Renaissance architecture and experience authentic Italian leather on this 3-hour craft tour.

  • Commence your tour at the antique Florentine Quarter 
  • Explore Santa Maria Del Fiore
  • Pass by the much-celebrated Uffizi Gallery, home to much Renaissance art
  • Cross over the Ponte Vecchio, towards Palazzo Pitti
  • Enjoy a short stop at the Church of Santo Spirito
  • Visit the incredible Leather School of Florence 
  • Conclude at Mannina, a family-owned Florentine cobbler 
Antique Florentine Quarter
What better place to start than the antique Florentine Quarter where the talented Dante Alighieri used to live? You will pay a visit to Piazza Della Signoria, where you can not help but be captivated by the Palazzo Vecchio and the Loggia Dei Lanzi. Originally the seat of power for the ruling elite of the Republic of Florence, the Palazzo Vecchio is now the town hall and a symbol of the Tuscan capital. Built back in the 14th century, the charming Loggia dei Lanzi is a masterpiece of Florentine Renaissance architecture and now hosts remarkable Renaissance sculptures.

A short walk on and you will also pass the celebrated Uffizi Gallery, home to some wonderful creations by the Italian Renaissance greats of Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and many others. The world-famous medieval bridge Ponte Vecchio is well worth a visit with its many quaint craft shops selling small souvenirs, lovely jewellery, and beautiful paintings. 

Renaissance Florence 

Your tour also includes a quick visit to the Church of Santo Spirito. Initially drafted by the immensely talented Brunelleschi; it was finally completed years after his death in the late 15th century. You will complete your journey with a short stroll around the Quarter of Santa Croce, taking its name from the scenic church of Santa Croce, the largest Franciscan church in the world.

Authentic Italian Craft

Visit the Leather School of Florence which was created after World War II by Franciscan friars of the Monastery of Santa Croce with the mission of teaching orphans of the war a practical trade with which to earn a living. You will also have the opportunity to visit Mannina, a family-owned Florentine cobbler that are still using traditional shoemaking techniques. 
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