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Oltrarno
Arcangelo Raffaello
San Carlo dei Barnabiti
San Felice in Piazza
San Francesco di Paola
San Francesco di Sales
San Frediano in Cestello
San Giorgio alla Costa
San Giovanni della Calza
San Giusto della Calza
San Girolamo Santi Girolamo e Francesco alla Costa
San Jacopo sopr'Arno
San Leonardo in Arcetri
San Miniato al Monte
San Niccol˛ sopr'Arno
San Pier Gattolino
San Salvatore al Monte
San Franceso al Monte/alle Croce
San Salvatore di Camaldoli
San Sebastiano dei Bini
SantĺIlario a Colombaia
Santa Chiara
Santa Elisabetta della Convertite
Santa Felicita
Santa Lucia de' Magnoli
Santa Maria al Pignone
Santa Maria del Carmine
Santa Monica
Santa Monaca
Santi Agostino e Cristina
Santi Vito e Modesto
Santo Spirito

 

 

 

Arcangelo Raffaello
Borgo San Frediano
 

San Carlo dei Barnabiti
via Sant'Agostino


History

Founded in 1531, on the site of the earlier Hospital of Santa Lucia belonging to the confraternity of the Bigallo (1428-1530), by the Benedictine nuns from the monastery of Sant'Anna in Verzaia, whose convnent had been destroyed in the siege of 1529. In 1538 it passed to the Franciscan Tertiaries. With suppression in 1748 the building was used as a hospice for mendicants and various other uses followed, involving substantial alterations.

After 1845 the monastery became a tobacco factory and then a barracks. It then became the sculpture studio of Lorenzo Bartolini who, after his death, passed the building on to his protÚgÚ Pasquale Romanelli  who worked here from 1851 to 1887.  There is a plaque to his memory near the main entrance. The building remains in the Romanelli family and is today used as a showroom.
Over the door there is a marble bas-relief by Cennini of The Archangel Raphael with Tobias.

 


History
Built in 1636 by Gherardo Silvani for the Barnabites, replacing the order's oratory on the site. The order thrived in the early 18th century, hence the ceiling fresco by Sigismondo Betti of The Glory of the Virgin with St Paul and St Carlo Borromeo from 1721, the architectural work by Bernardino Ciurini in 1743, the perspective views by Domenico Stagi of 1757-58, and other paintings (dome and spandrels) by Giuseppe Zocchi in 1747.
Suppressed in 1783, the church passed into private hands until 1838 when it was acquired by the Scalopi Fathers, who kept it until 1866. Since then it has been used as a school, a gymnasium and now for art exhibitions and the like.
 



 

San Felice in Piazza
Piazza di San Felice


History
Documented as early as 1066, the church's name is said to derive from Platitia or Placza, the name of the area stretching up here from Santa Felicita, which was becoming more populous at that time.  Acquired by Benedictines from the monastery of San Silvestro in Nonantola in 1153. Their expansion in the mid-14th century resulted in the five ogival mullioned windows still visible on the outer wall of the church. Also the lunette fresco in the sixth altar on the left, The Madonna and Child with Saints James Major, Pope Sylvester and the abbot of Nonantola attributed to the Master of the Bargello (c.1365).  The church passed to Camoldolese monks in 1414. Largely rebuilt c. 1457-60 by Michelozzo di Bartolomeo, with funds provided by Mariotto di Dinozzo Lippi. The new fašade and apse chapels date from this rebuilding. The cross-vault ceiling dates from the 16th century. The complex was taken over in 1557 by Dominican nuns from the monastery of San Pietro Martire in Via dei Serragli, who had been forced to move because of the demolition of their convent four years previously, to make way for the strengthening of the city fortifications. They changed the monastery's dedication to St. Peter Martyr. The large nun's gallery was built during this time, with a work room above the entrance, due to the Dominicans being a closed order, and the sacristy.
The 16th and 17th centuries saw the building of new altars, in counter-reformation style, and the 17th and 18th saw tombs of artists and other employees who had worked at the nearby Palazzo Pitti, but no one very famous.
In the 18th century the complex became a Conservatory for poor girls, and in 1780 a free school for the needy of Oltrarno, remaining so even after the Napoleonic suppression of 1808. The church became a parish church.
Following a fire in 1926 the church was restored, by engineer and architect Ezio Cerpi, who attempted to take the interior back to its 14th and 15th century appearance. More restoration at the end of the 1970s.

Interior
It's a big, but somewhat dingy and cluttered, church with a deep vestibule area half the length of the church containing four altars each side and a closed nuns' gallery above (see photo below right). The main body of the church has a mixture of altars, depth wise. The three biggest are on the left with more of mixture on the right.

Art
Some good and bad art, including a dingy (or just ill-lit) Ridolfo Ghirlandaio altarpiece of The Madonna and Saints and a large crucifix over the high altar (c.1308) (see photo right), restored in 1992 when its attribution to Giotto was confirmed, of course. It is still widely thought to be more 'workshop of'. (Unlike his crucifixes in Santa Maria Novella, Ognissanti and San Marco it was not mentioned by Vasari or Ghiberti.) A few good fresco fragments too. In the refectory is a well-conserved Last Supper by Matteo Rosselli (1614).

Lost art
An altarpiece of 1460, the main panel, of The Coronation of the Virgin with Twelve Saints, being by Neri di Bicci and now in the Uffizi. The predella panels are by Francesco Botticini and currently three are in the Colonna Collection in Rome, with the remaining parts in the Villa I Tatti, the Brooklyn collection in New York, and the Saibene collection in Milan.

Campanile

A belfry with four bells built over the main chapel in 1742.

Feast day performances
Many churches in Florence were famous for putting on, often spectacular, performances on particular feast days, involving hoists, machinery and fireworks. San Felice's was the Annunciation, which saw an actor swoop across the nave to deliver his message to a man dressed as Mary. The ceiling trusses in here were useful for this. Brunelleschi's sets for the 1439 performance were said to have been particularly memorable. In 1591 Francesco Bocchi singled out this church as being eminently suitable for such performances, its three naves providing ample space.

Opening times
Monday-Friday 9.00-11.30 & 4.00-7.00 Saturday 9.00-1130

 



 

San Francesco di Paola
Piazza San Francesco di Paola

History
Built for Franciscan Minim friars (the order founded by Saint Francis of Paola, which was devoted to humility and veganism) previously established at the church of San Giuseppe. The complex was built on farmland provided by Alessandro di Camillo Strozzi, with work starting in 1589. T
he architect Gherardo Silvani was involved from 1638 to the church's completion in 1643 although his contributions aren't documented. Restoration in the mid-18th century, including decoration and work on the roof, and 1996-2005.

The monastery was suppressed in 1782 by Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo, and turned into a villa (in 1873?) by Senator John Federighi, with the church becoming a private chapel, as commemorated by a marble slab over the door of the church.  The neoclassical sculptor Adolf von Hildebrand later lived here creating, in the 1870s, a celebrated salon whose visitors included Liszt, Wagner, Gladstone, and Henry James. The church has since been reconsecrated and is now used as a parish church.  The monastery is now private apartments owned by the heirs of the British historian Harry Brewster, who married one of Adolf von Hildebrand's daughters.


Art highlights
Here since 1785 has been the detached fresco fragment of The Madonna del Parto by Taddeo Gaddi (c. 1355) (see left) taken from the demolished church of San Pier Maggiore. But it is said to have originally come from San Donato a Scopeto, destroyed in 1529, the same church which supplied the Romanesque portico now on the fašade of San Jacopo sopr'Arno and for which Leonardo was commission to paint his early and unfinished Adoration of the Magi, now in the Uffizi.
Also a 15th century wooden crucifix, an Annunciation attributed to Giovan Battista Vanni, a 1602 Portrait of San Francesco di Paola, six canvases of Stories of Saint Francis of Paola by Ignazio Hugford, and two works by Giuseppe Moriani of 1716.
In the garden there is a statue of Saint Francis of Paola by Giuseppe Piamontini (1695).

Lost art
The tomb of Bishop Jerome Benozzo Federighi by Luca della Robbia originally here has since been moved to San Pancrazio (in 1809)  and to Santa Trinita in 1895, where it remains.
 

San Francesco di Sales
via dell'Orto

   

History
The church, along with the girls' boarding-school of San Francesco di Sales, known as the Conventino, were built in 1700 to a design by Anton Maria Ferri and financed by the Da Verrazzano family. The church and school were built on part of the site of the former Camaldolese monastery of San Salvatore, of which some buildings still remain. 

The church contains various 18th-century works of art. Over the high altar is St Francis de Sales saying Mass by Ignatius Hugford; on the side altars are The Visitation and The Crucifixion between two Saints by Giovanni Antonio Pucci; on the ceiling a fresco of The Virgin in glory with St Francis de Sales and St Jeanne Frangoise de Chantal.





 

 

San Frediano in Cestello
Lungarno Soderini

History
The original church on this site is said to have arisen from a miracle performed by the 6th century Irish Saint, and Bishop of Lucca, Fridianus (Frediano). The Cistercians in residence, from whom the church derives its name, were moved to Santa Maria Maddalena in 1514 to make way for Carmelite nuns, with the patronage of the Soderini family. The Carmelite convent was called Santa Maria degli Angeli. By the time Paolo Antonio Soderini was exiled, in the mid 16th century, when the Grand Duke took over as patron, the area had become more densely populated. The Cistercians returned in 1628 when Cardinal Francesco Barberini moved the Carmelite nuns to Santa Maria Maddalena. He did this because two of his nieces, Innocenza and Grazia, were nuns here and it wasn't the nicest of areas. The Cistercians instituted rebuilding, to designs by Silvani executed by Antonio Cerutti, from 1680-1689. It was at this time that the church was turned to face North, having been previously west-facing, as seen in the Catena map of 1471 (see above). The cupola and campanile were built in 1698 by Antonio Ferri, who also had a hand in Palazzo Corsini over the Arno. Following Grand Duke Leopold's suppressions of 1808 the Cistercians left and the building became a parish church.

Interior
Airy and two-tone white and grey, with the grey being very bluish. Aisleless, it's very 18th century inside and quite low-key Baroque, with three deep interconnected open chapels down each side of the nave. All of them are finely frescoed in the domes, lunettes and pendentives by six Florentine painters of the late 17th and early 18th centuries, including Gabbiani, Bonechi and Dandini. The left hand ones all have lanterns in their domes, but the right hand ones rely on light from the clerestories.
The transept is bare of decoration with no altars, just two pairs of wooden confessionals at each end with paintings above - the Crucifixion and the Madonna in Glory mentioned below.
The impressive painting of the the Madonna in Glory in the central dome (see photo below) is by Antonio Domenico Gabbiani (1702ľ1718). The Four Virtues in the pendentives are by Matteo Bonechi.

Art
Polychrome wooden Madonna and Child by a follower of Nino Pisano, the son of Andrea, of c. 1350. Crucifixion with Saints and Martyrdom of St. Lawrence by Jacopo del Sellaio. Madonna in glory with saints by Francesco Curradi. Frescoes of Scenes from the life of the founder of the Cistercian order (1688ľ1689) by Pier Dandini.
The refectory has a Last Supper by Bernardino Poccetti. In the cloisters there's a statue of Santa Maria Maddalena de' Pazzi (1726) by Antonio Montauti and St. Bernard of Clairvaux defeats the devil (1702) by Giuseppe Piamontini.

Artist nun
Antonia Uccello, the daughter of artist Paolo, was a Carmelite nun here. She was a reputed artist, mentioned as such by Vasari (who described her as a daughter who knew how to draw) but none of her work has survived, or can be identified. Her death certificate described her as a pittoressa.

Opening times
9.30-11.30 & 5.00-6.00
 




 

San Giorgio alla Costa
Costa San Giorgio

History
The original church may date from the 10th century. A convent was added and having belonged to the Canons of Sant'Andrea a Mosciano, the Dominicans and the Silvestrines, in 1520 it was rebuilt at the behest of Lucrezia de 'Medici, daughter of Lorenzo the Magnificent, and granted to the Vallombrosan nuns, who dedicated it to the Holy Spirit. Restored in baroque style by Giovanni Battista Faggini in 1705-8. At this time the ceiling painting of The Glory of St George by Alessandro Gherardini was added, and the oval painting on Faggini's high altar, showing The Descent of the Holy Ghost by Anton Domenico Gabbiani. Other altarpieces by Tommaso Redi, Jacopo Vignali and Passagnano. Suppressed by Napoleon in 1808, between 1926 and 1933 the complex was converted to house the headquarters of the Barracks Vittorio Veneto.
The church is currently used by a Romanian Orthodox congregation, but due to structural damage to the roof, it seems, they are having to use the crypt (see photo below right) through the small entrance doorway to the steep street (see photo right).

Lost art
A very early Giotto - the Madonna of San Giorgio alla Costa of c.1296 (see right) is now in the (never open) Diocesan Museum at Santo Stefano al Ponte. It was reattributed to Giotto only in 1939 by German art critic Robert Oertel - Ghiberti and Vasari had both thought it by Giotto, though. Richard Offner thought it the work of the Saint Cecilia Master (an opinion which held sway in the early 20th century) and mentioned documents telling of it working miracles still in 1801. Opinions are still divided. The painting was cut down on all four sides in the 18th century to fit a baroque altar. It is very red, but the Madonna's black robe has discoloured drastically from its original blue. For many years the panel was kept in Santo Stefano al Ponte where it was damaged on May 27th 1993 in the mafia car-bombing of the Uffizi. During its restoration a tear was left in the left corner in memory of the event. In addition, in the catalogue to the recent exhibition in Milan Giotto, L'Italia, in an essay on this Madonna, Andrea de Marchi suggests that a Crucifix painted for this church and mentioned by Ghiberti is the one currently in the Parisian seminary at Issy-les-Moulineaux. Conservation work may soon reveal whether this is so.
Allesso Baldovinetti's Annunciation, probably painted in 1457 for the Silvestrine friars here. In the Uffizi since 1868.
Neri di Bicci Annunciation, with Saints Jerome and Francis, 1460. Painted at the commission of Bartolommeo Corsellini for this church, now in the Accademia.
Two panels showing San Pietro Igneous and San Benedetto, the latter looking very troubled, described as Toscana Scuola are now in the  in the Andrea del Sarto Cenacolo Museum at San Salvi.
A
 panel depicting The Virgin and Child with Saints John the Baptist, Sylvester, Martin and Filippo Benizzi, by Agnolo di Donino is now on the high altar in Santa Lucia dei Magnoli down the hill.

Opening times
Opened for
Romanian Orthodox services Sundays at 10.30

 

 

 

 

 







 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

San Girolamo
Santi Girolamo e Francesco alla Costa
Costa San Giorgio


History
Built in 1432, the church of the former convent of San Girolamo alla Costa was built in 1432. The complex had been built in the 14th century for the sisters of the Franciscan Third Order, and enlarged in the 15th, when the tabernacle over the old entrance (later walled up) was painted. It represents The Crucifixion between St Jerome and St Francis and is attributed to Pier Francesco Fiorentino. Rebuilt between 1515 and 1520 with further work in the 17th and 18th century which altered the church considerably. Suppressed in 1808, the convent was reopened in 1816 but was again suppressed in 1866 an put to military uses, with the church becoming the Vittorio Veneto barracks chapel in 1928. Currently (since 12.2011) undergoing restoration work.

A daughter of Galileoĺs sister Virginia was a nun here, with the name of Suor Arcangiola. Maria Virginia, the daughter of his grandson Vincenzo, was also a nun here, with the name of Suor Maria Olimpia.

Lost art
Two by  (studio of) Ridolfo Ghirlandaio - Saint Jerome at the Foot of the Crucifix, and an Annunciation.
 


 

San Giovanni della Calza
Piazza della Calza


History
Originally an ospedale dedicated to St John the Baptist stood here, under the patronage of the Knights of Malta, but at some date after 1362 it took the dedication to St Nicholas, this being the name saint of the hospital's benefactress Donna Bice, who made a bequest to the hospital in 1362. By 1376 it was also know as Santi Bartolomeo e Niccol˛. In 1373 a church was built here with funds provided by Bindo di Lapo Benini dedicated to San Niccol˛ dei Frieri. The Bindi family arms - crossed scarlet chains on a field of gold - are carved on the lintel above the church door.
In 1392 the Knights gave the convent to nuns of the order of the Cavalleresse di Malta.
They commissioned a Last Supper from Franciabigio painted in their refectory in 1514. This has recently undergone considerable restoration (see photo far below right). In 1529 it passed to the Jesuits. They dedicated the church to Saint John the Baptist. It later took the name of San Giusto della Calza on account of the characteristic white hood worn by the Jesuit lay brethren. When the Jesuits were suppressed in 1668 , the convent passed to Congregazione dei Sacerdoti di San Salvatore del Vescovo who moved here in 1689. Then it became the seat of Convitto Ecclesiastico dei Chierici o Seminaristi. It is now a home for elderly women.

Interior

The church, with its nuns' choir, has an altarpiece by Empoli of Saint John the Evangelist and the Angel Gabriel.

Lost art
The panel of Three saints by Nardo di Cione (see right), said to have been commissioned by Bindo di Lapo Benini, the builder of the church, maybe for the high altar, is now in the National Gallery in London. The three saints include Giovanni and Jacopo, Lapo being a contraction of Jacopo.
Another altarpiece, of 1386 and by Cecco di Pietro and now in the Portland Art Museum in Portland Oregon, may also have been here and commissioned by a member of the Benini family.
Both are likely to have been moved out when the Jesuits arrived in 1531 and installed three altarpieces by Perugino taken from their church of San Giusto alle Mura, which had been destroyed preparatory to the Siege of Florence in 1529. These included the PietÓ now in the Uffizi.
The San Giusto Altarpiece (1480) by Dominico Ghirlandaio was also moved here (it was seen by Vasari) from the church of San Giusto. The gorgeous and very Netherlandish main panel (see below) is now in the Uffizi (since 1853). When the Tuscan government refused to allow the main panel to be sold to the London National Gallery in 1855 it was bought in 1857 by the Grand Duke for the Uffizi. The five less impressive panels from the predella are elsewhere - three in the Met in New York and one each in the National Gallery in London and the Detroit Institute of Arts. They exhibit varying and argued-over amounts of studio involvement.

 



 

San Jacopo sopr'Arno
Borgo San Jacopo

History
Built in the 10th/11th Centuries in a Romanesque style. According to Vasari Brunelleschi built a chapel here, the Ridolfi Chapel, the dome of which was a dry run for his famous dome on the Duomo. The chapel was destroyed during major rebuilding in the 18th century following responsibility passing to the Missionary Fathers. From 1542 the complex had been run by Franciscans of the Minorite Order. Following damage during the 1966 flood restoration work uncovered original features, including columns belonging to the original Romanesque church. The church is currently being used by a Greek Orthodox congregation

The church

The Romanesque portico, possibly 11th century, was brought here from the church of San Donato a Scopeto, a church at the foot of Bellosguardo demolished in 1529 to clear ground before the siege.

Interior
Baroque and dating from 1709. Nice old columns and spandrels have been revealed at the sides which complement the later and baroquer additions, rather than being covered up by them. Lots of icons, the church currently being used by a Greek Orthodox congregation. During services expect chanting and incense and mistiness and bell-shaking also.

Art highlights
Almost all dating from the 18th century rebuilding. Works by Pier Dandini (frescoes in the vault depicting Saint James), Niccol˛ Lapi (Moses) Matteo Bonechi  (dome fresco of The Madonna in Glory with Angels) and Agostino Veracini (St. Francis of Assisi).

Lost art
Sogliani's Holy Trinity and Saints, with millions of putti, is in the Andrea del Sarto Cenacolo Museum at San Salvi.

Campanile
Designed by Gherardo Silvani in 1660.

Because of it's flying buttresses hanging over the river this church is popularly known as the church with its arse in the Arno.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 









 

San Leonardo in Arcetri
via di San Leonardo


History

11th century and dedicated to the French Patron Saint of prisoners  country-church style small bell-tower, sandstone with semi-circular tribune. The fašade was restored in 1899 and 1921. The interior has one aisle; the large arch of the presbytery was built at the end of the 18th century.  Crucifix over main altar by unknown Tuscan sculptor of the 19th century.
Lunette over door 1928 - a mosaic of Saint Leonardo between two angels by Giuseppe Castellucci (1863-1939).

Art highlights
A triptych by Lorenzo di Niccol˛ on the high altar.
Three works by Neri di Bicci. An Annunciation with God, angels and prophets. The Assumption of the Virgin with Saints Thomas, Peter, Jerome, John and Francis commissioned by India Salviati and her brother Bernardo on 1 June 1467 from Neri, now positioned to the left of the choir's triumphal arch. Saint Thomas had been chosen by India as her patron saint as he was martyred on a mission to India. Her brother Bernard had commissioned a work from Neri di Bicci for this church himself, The Coronation of the Virgin, which had included his name saint.

An i
mportant late 12th century Romanesque pulpit was moved here in 1782, at the request of Grand Duke Leopold II, from San Pier Scheraggio, a church then being partially demolished and partially incorporated into the Uffizi. Major restoration work on the pulpit was carried out in 1921, the year of the celebration of the 600th anniversary of the death of Dante it being the ôlast remainder of the church that held the Council of the Florentine Republic, where Dante spokeö. More restoration work was carried out in 2010.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Photo above by
Henk Woudsma, from The Unknown Florence

Galileo Galilei died here on January 8, 1642.
 

San Miniato al Monte
viale Galileo Galilei


this church now has its own page
 

San Niccol˛ sopr'Arno
via di San Niccol˛

History
Originally a Romanesque church founded around 1050 and
mentioned in a papal bull of Lucius III of March 3rd 1184, the church was largely rebuilt in the late 14th century, when it became a parish church to cope with the increased population in the area, at the expense of Bernardo Quaratesi who commissioned from Gentile da Fabriano the Quaratesi Polyptych of 1425, now dismembered and dispersed in various museums (see below). Renovation followed the flood of 1557 and Vasari radically modernised the interior in 1587, installing monumental altars with altarpieces by Il Poppi, Allori and Curradi. Restoration work after the 1966 flood brought to light some fragments of the 15th-century decoration beneath Vasari's additions, such as the Saint Ansanus attributed to Francesco d'Antonio to be found in the chapel at the end of the right-hand side, along with its sinopia opposite.
In the sacristy in the 15th century Quaratesi chapel is a reportedly highlight fresco of The Madonna of the Girdle of 1450, probably by Baldovinetti. In here are also to be found panels by Bicci di Lorenzo and his son Neri di Bicci. I've also read about work here by the Master of Signa,
an anonymous pupil of Bicci di Lorenzo. Also five panels from a polyptych by Gentile da Fabriano, called the Intercession altarpiece. They were damaged in the fire here in 1897 and subsequently badly restored and hidden away for many years in the storerooms of the Pitti Palace. Restoration began in 1995 and lasted 11 years, with the altarpiece then put on display at the Medici Palace. It is now back here, it is said, as is the fact that it may have originally come from San Salvatore al Monte. The church has an 12th-century crypt, the only part of the original church that remains. 
Michelangelo hid in a small room at the base the bell-tower from the victorious Medici faction after the siege of Florence in 1530.

Lost art
An Annunciation by Masolino, now in Washington.
The four lateral panels depicting four saints from The Quaratesi Polyptych (1425)  (see reconstruction photo right) by Gentile da Fabriano are in the Uffizi (since 1863). Painted for the high altar here, they remained until 1879 when they were given to the Uffizi by the Marquis Niccol˛ Quaratesi, a descendent of the original patron. The rest of the altarpiece had been removed by around 1830. The central panel, The Madonna and Child is in the National Gallery, on long-term loan from the Royal Collection, having been bought by Prince Albert in 1846. There are four predella panels in the Vatican Pinacoteca
and one in Washington.

Opening times
Daily 8.30-11.00, 5.30-7.00, we were told in the previous Blue Guide and I tried morning and evening visits for several years, never finding it open.
The current (2017) edition says
You can visit before mass on Sat 5.30/6.00 in winter and 6.00/6.30 in summer and on Sun 10.15/11.25. Otherwise it is difficult to find it open.
 


 

San Pier Gattolino
Via Romana


History
Documented from 1050, the old church of 'San Pietro Gattuario' was demolished in 1552 to make way for Cosimo I's fortifications. Rebuilt by a workman nicknamed Umido, who collected the necessary funds and materials, it was known as the church of Serumido. (The street beside the church is called the Via Ser Umido.) This rebuilding, in the manner of Santi di Tito was completed around 1571. The church became the favourite of Medici servants.
San Filippo Neri was born in the parish and was baptised here. Domenico Veneziano was buried here in 15th May 1561. The painter Giovanni di San Giovanni, who died on the 9th of December 1636, is buried here too.
The Porta Romana, further down the via Romana, was called the Porta San Pier Gattolino in the renaissance period.
The church is now used for
Romanian/Greco-Catholic services every Sunday.

Interior
The aisleless nave, with a barrel-vaulted apse, was restructured in the 18th century, with more work in the 19th and 20th Centuries. The ceiling was frescoed with the Glory of St Peter in 1809 by Domenico del Podesta. Over the high altar an altarpiece of The Madonna and Child enthroned with Saints is by the 16th-century Master of Serumido, an artist whose name remains unknown and who produced similar works for other churches in the Oltrano.
On the left wall is, the Death of St Joseph by Antonio Soderini (1722).
In the impressively decorated Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament (which has its own facade and entrance to the right of the church) is a  Madonna and Child by Alessandro Fei, called il  Barbiere, of 1568.


 

San Salvatore al Monte
viale Galileo Galilei


History
A convent was founded here in 1417 by Observant Franciscans after a gift of land was made by Luca di Jacopo del Toso, with the stipulation that a church and convent be opened within a year. An oratory was built by 1419, probably dedicated to Saints Cosmas and Damian.  A new church was begun on 28th June 1431, which was finished, but for its roof, on 25th February 1435. This was a simple single-nave church on a north-south axis, visible on the Catena map, but proved structurally unsatisfactory, possibly due to of unsound foundations, because in 1447 Cosimo de' Medici persuaded Castello Quaratesi to fund a new building, which he did in his will. (This after his offer to provide a fašade for Santa Croce was refused.) He died in 1465, but plans provided in 1474 by Fra Leone were declared to not be grand enough by Lorenzo de' Medici, which delayed the beginning of work. Building was begun around 1490, completed in 1498, under the supervision of Simone del Pollaiolo (called Il Cronaca), who was also responsible for the design for the fašade of Santa Croce, built much later. Consecration followed here in 1504.  The Franciscans moved to the Ognissanti complex later in the 16th century. This hilltop church ends an exhausting stairway mentioned by Dante and now set out as a Via Crucis for Holy Week processions. Michelangelo called the church a bella villanella (pretty country maid).

The church
A design of considerable plainness, said to have been inspired by the austere teachings of Savonarola, but was thought too grand by the friars when it was being built. The fašade features a single door with three windows above, with alternating segmental and triangular pediments, only the middle one being real.

The interior
The interior is also plain, being said to be a balance between Franciscan austerity and the more grandiose needs of the patron. The walls are bare and off-white with sandy-coloured detailing and an open timber roof. It has triangular-pedimented clerestory windows echoing those on the facade and softening the gloom inside, a little. The  minimally decorated interior has, for example, no freeze in the cornice between the upper and lower levels.
The five interconnected deep side chapels on each
side all have stained glass windows depicting saints, and most have matching altars with plaster reliefs on the front against a yellow background.

Art highlights
Nothing in the chapels, but there's a rather nice Pieta over the last confessional on the left, with a very uncomfortable looking Christ (see right), said to be by Neri di Bicci. On the left wall of the apse is a Madonna Enthroned by Giovanni dal Ponte (see below right) with an odd Crucifix on the opposite wall. Also two altarpiece panels depicting Saints Cosmas and Damian and Saints Francis and Anthony by Rossello di Jacopo Franchi, a pupil of Lorenzo Monaco. A terracotta relief of the Deposition by Giovanni della Robbia is over the north door.

Tombs
Here are buried Tanai de' Nerli, the statesman and persecutor of Savonarola who commissioned the Madonna and Child with Saints (also known as the  Pala de' Nerli ) by Filippino Lippi in Santo Spirito. Also Marcello Virgilio Adriani, who signed Savonarola's death sentence in 1498 and whose bust by Andrea Ferrucci, who also carved the crucifix here, is to be found on the inner fašade wall.

Relics
A habit said to have belonged to Saint Francis came here following seizure as booty in1503 from the castle of Monte Acuto during the war against the Aratines.

Lost art
The Annunciation, an altarpiece by Zanobi Strozzi in the National Gallery, London 'almost certainly' came from here, having been installed in the 1435 church and later removed during the Napoleonic suppressions in 1810. It is thought to have been in a chapel here, the Lanfredini arms being visible on the capitals of the columns in the painting.

The church in art
The Tate Gallery in London has two pages from one of Turner's sketchbooks which it labels Two Sketches of a Church in Florence (San Salvatore al Monte?) and that question mark is well earned.
One of Robert Charles Goff's many scenes of Florence and Tuscany features San Salvatore al Monte (see right). He was a follower of Whistler and an Irish Army colonel who travelled much and lived in Florence and Brighton







 
 





 

San Salvatore di Camaldoli
via di Camaldoli


History

A church had existed here since the 11th century when the site was granted to the Camaldolites in 1102. They left after the siege of Florence of 1530 and the monastery was used as a poor house or ospedale di mendicitÓ and part was turned into the Conventino and church of San Francesco di Sales. In the fašade is a hole for the depositing of alms (see right).

Lorenzo Lippi The Virgin Handing the Child to Saint Francis of 1629.


Lost art

Payments were made in 1480/81 for a tabernacle by Domenico Ghirlandaio, now lost.
Stories from the Life of Saint Acasius
by Mannerist painter Francesco Ubertini (called Bachiacca) has been in the Uffizi since 1861. It was originally the predella for the altarpiece
showing The Martyrdom of Saint Acasius by Giovannantonio Sogliani, commissioned in 1521 by Alfonsinaa Orsini for the church of San Salvatore at Camaldoli and today in San Lorenzo.
A crucifix painted for this church in a Cimabue-esque style (see right) is now in the Museo Bardini.

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 


 



 

 

 

 

 



 

San Sebastiano dei Bini
 via Romana


History

The oratory of Santo Spirito was built here in 1287, as was an attached hospital, known as the spedaluzzo, for the use of the poor and pilgrims, being situated on the road to and from Rome. Under the patronage of various members of the Bini family, who lived nearby, most notably by Bernardo di Piero Bini, who enlarged it from around 1490. He is also buried inside, under an altarpiece with a central panel by Rossello di Jacopo Franchi The Madonna of Humilty (see right) stolen in 1931 recovered on the antiques market 40 years later.

The fašade and interior date from the 1490 enlargement, and the choir from 1525. The rededication to St. Sebastian dates from around this time too.  The oratory was home to the Congregation of Abandoned Lasses(?!) from 1561 and then in 1594 the Congregazione della Dottrina Cristiana, organised by Ippolito Galantini. This latter congregation afterwards moved to Via del Palazzuolo, where they became known as the Vanchetoni or Silent Ones. In 1632 the oratory became the first headquarters of the Order of St Philip Neri. In 1744 the complex passed to the Carthusians and in 1774 it became a hospice. Closed by Napoleon in 1808.
Suffering mixed fortunes during the 19th and 20th Centuries the oratory was used as a warehouse from 1950. Restoration began in 1996 and the oratory opened as a museum of sacred art in 2002, containing mainly works already present in the building, recently restored and re-arranged. I've never found it open.

Interior
A stripped-looking barrel-vaulted hall with a domed apse.

Art highlights
Aside from the altarpiece already mentioned these works include a Guardian Angel of 1625 by Giovanni Bilivert, a wooden statue of Saint Sebastian carved by Leonardo del Tasso around 1497/1500 and said to have been polychromed by Filippino Lippi, two panels by Filippo Lippi (San Giovanni and Santa Maria Maddalena) and a 'school of Donatello' Crucifix, now attributed to Baccio da Montelupo. (The statue and the two panels are sometimes reported to have been transferred to San Felice in Piazza, but I don't remember seeing them there.)
The museum also contains vestments, altar cloths and holy vessels from both the church of San Felice in Piazza and San Pietro in Gattolino.


Opening times
Friday-Sunday 3.00 - 6.00
October 2016 update the above times (from the  website of the Piccoli Grandi Musei of Florence)
were found to bear no relationship to reality.
 

 



 

SantĺIlario a Colombaia
via di SantĺIlario a Colombaia


History

As early as 1072 there was a reference to a small oratory here built by French and German pilgrims who travelled the Via Cassia on the way to Rome. Around 1300 a church was built here, dedicated to St Hilary, the Bishop of Poitiers in the 4th century. Originally known as Sant'Ilario alle Fonti, due to a fountain in nearby via Senese. The name Colombaia (dove-cote) may refer to the large number of pigeons that frequented the hillside, or to a nearby villa.

The church served a very large parish, stretching from the hill of San Gaggio to Marignolle and Bobolino, and reaching along the outside of the city walls as far as the slopes of Bellosguardo. Amongst the Florentine families who held the patronage of this church, were the Adimari, the Ghiberti, the Donati and the Quaratesi. Damaged during the siege by Castruccio Castracani in 1325, it was rebuilt in 1457 by the rector Girolamo Bindi.

Many alterations over the course of the centuries, such as the enlargement of the choir and presbytery. The campanile dates from 1880 and was designed by the architects Tanzi and Barchielli. Extensive restructuring, including the reopening of the portico, part of the original church, took place in 1954.

The frescoes in the portico were rediscovered during this work. They are in poor condition. There is a Madonna and Child with Saints, from the early 15th century, and a courtly scene by Stefano d'Antonio (15th century). The lunette above the door dates from the late 14th century.

The interior
An aisle-less nave, with an arch leading into the presbytery. The pietra serena balustrade dates from 1713, as does the ceiling painted of The Glory of Saint Hilary. The Stations of the Cross in glazed terracotta are 20th century and by Serafino Ceri of the Cantagallo factory.
A wooden crucifix said to have been used by a branch of the Bianchi brotherhood which was wiped out nearby by the plague in 1400 is preserved in the attached oratory.

 
Santa Chiara
Via dei Serragli


History

Originally the site of the San Giovanni Battista hopspital complex run by  Augustinian nuns when, on 30 May 1452, a group of Poor Clares led by Maria di Maso degli Albizzi, a Florentine noblewoman. Renovations later in the century until, in the 1480s, merchant Jacopo Bongianni, who had two sisters and a niece in the convent, began funding a comprehensive rebuilding programme. It is still unclear who the architect was, though the work is reminiscent of Giuliano da Sangallo and has been attributed to him or his school,but this attribution remains uncertain. Bongianni left money to the convent in three successive wills, dated 1492, 1497 and 1507, and an act of donation from 1494. These donations coincided with his sisters' terms as abbess. The money was intended to pay for the rebuilding of the church, the high altar, his tomb to be placed in front of it, two side altars and paintings by Lorenzo di Credi and Petro Perugino that were placed on the side altars and surmounted by lunettes from the della Robbia workshop.  Bongianniĺs letters show him to have been an intensely religious man who followed the teachings Savonarola.
The convent was suppressed in 1808 and put to use as a school before becoming the headquarters of the Arena Goldoni, and being rebuilt as the Teatro Goldoni. The church was used an as oratory, with access from the side street, until it was deconsecrated in 1842. From that year the sculptor Pio Fedi used it as a studio, on into the early 1850s. The two stone lions on the pillars either side of the entrance were put there by Fedi. He remodelled the fašade and portal, but left the church interior alone, dividing the space for his own uses, a process continued by the present owners, the art publishers Edizioni Polistampa.
In 1860 John Charles Robinson, the first curator of the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A) bought the apse chapel on behalf of the museum for ú386, and it was dismantled and shipped to London, where it is currently one of the highlights of the newish Medieval and Renaissance galleries (see below right). 

Interior

Original architectural elements, including the nuns' choir,  remain visible through the modern additions, evidently, but the site of the removed apse chapel is now a private house and garage.

Lost art
Two altarpieces which would have faced each other across the nave, and were conceived as part of the same programme as the high altar. Firstly
The Adoration of the Shepherds by Lorenzo di Credi (1497) (see right), inspired by the composition and Netherlandish tones of the Portinari altarpiece.
It also has his favoured version of the Baby lying on a symbolic bundle of grain. The panel was transferred to the Accademia in 1808, and then to the Uffizi in 1919. Two more by him for this church, mentioned by Vasari, are untraceable.
Pietro Perugino's pleasant, if densely populated, Lamentation of 1495 which is now in the Palatine Gallery in the Palazzo Pitti was the high altarpiece here.
A processional cross, with an inscription saying it was made for the convent of Santa Chiara ('probably the one in Florence' says the catalogue) made from silver with plaques of niello work (engraved and enamelled silver plate) is in the Met in New York.
 

   


 

Santa Elisabetta della Convertite
Via del Campuccio

History
The Augustinian convent of the Converted Women was so called because it was originally intended for repentant prostitutes, and perhaps also for young women converted from Judaism. Built in 1330 by the Compagnia delle Laudi di Santo Spirito, the convent was enlarged in 1624 by the Grand Duchess Maria Maddalena, mother of Ferdinando II. The house where St Philip Neri was born in 1515 was later attached to it.
The convent was suppressed in 1808, and from 1837 has been put to various uses, mostly educational. It was deconsecrated but as there was an orthodox service in progress when I visited in 2012 (see left) I can only assume that it has been reconsecrated.

Interior
Deep rear vestibule under the nun's gallery frescoed with stories of the martyrs by Bernardino Poccetti.  A painted ceiling by Alessandro Gherardini of the Glory of Saint  Mary Magdalen, a small Brunelleschi-like arched apse and one altar on each side. Lots of icons.

Lost art
Sandro Botticelli's The Trinity with Saints John the Baptist and Mary Magdalen of 1491-94, the main panel from an altarpiece, is in the Courtauld Gallery in London. It needs a clean and doesn't really look much like a Botticelli, suggesting considerable workshop contributions. It was commissioned by the Arte dei Medici e degli Speziali (the Guild of Doctors and Pharmacists).  The four panels in the predella show scenes from the conversion of Mary Magdalene, an appropriate subject for the church of a convent for repentant prostitutes, and are in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Carlo Portelli's Crucifix with Madonna and Saints is in the Andrea del Sarto Cenacolo Museum at San Salvi.
 

Santa Felicita


History

A church with ancient origins, and documented first in 972, being sited near what was then
Florence's only bridge over the Arno, now where the Ponte Vecchio crosses. From very early on the building was dedicated to Saint Felicity, a Roman martyr. Remains of the early Christian basilica were found in excavations following the German mine-explosions of 1944, two and a half meters down. These were just to the west of the current church, but with the same orientation. The building which had replaced this early basilica was itself deteriorating when it was decided to rebuild it, and an attached Benedictine convent, in 1059/60, the convent being first mentioned then. In 1361 Abbess Costanza de'Rossi installed the nuns' choir and had work done on the roof. This Romanesque church lasted through to the drastic renovation of the 18th century, carried out by by Ferdinando Ruggieri at the nuns' behest, and can be seen on the Catena map of the late 15th century (see right).
With the suppressions of 1785 and 1808-10 the church lost its convent and went into a decline, but later became a parish church.

Interior
A somewhat chunky imitation of Brunelleschi-like pietra serena details on a pale background, created by Ruggieri during rebuilding from 1736-39 which swept away almost all of the existing art. Aisleless with three chapels on each side and a very sizeable (but inaccessible) transept.
The open balcony (coretto) at the back is famously accessed from the corridor from the Palazzo Pitti to the Palazzo della Signoria built by Vasari in 1565. There are also nuns' screens either side of it.
Two chapels at the back - the Canigiani and the Capponi mentioned below. The usually-closed (see below) Sacristy contains some fine 14th and 15th century works, mostly moved from the church to make way for later and inferior works.

Art highlights

Pontormo's vibrant and swirling Deposition of 1525-28, widely thought to be his masterpiece,
is in the Capponi Chapel on the right as you enter (see photo far right) which was originally built to designs by Brunelleschi. It's not strictly a deposition as it includes elements of the entombment and there's no cross, but then again there's also no tomb visible. This confusion has helped make this one of the most discussed chapels in renaissance studies, with the painting recently becoming known as a Pieta, or more strictly a Post-Pieta. The figure on the extreme right is said to be a self portrait. The vagueness of subject is said to be because the stained glass window (between the lovely Annunciation on the wall to the right) which depicts The Deposition and The Entombment, was installed before the frescoes were painted and Pontormo would not have wanted to repeat its subject matter. The window is the work of Guillaume de Marcillat and is a copy, the original having been removed to the Palazzo Capponi alle Rovinate in the 18th century. Pontormo's fresco of God the Father and the Four Patriarchs in the cupola of the chapel was destroyed during the 18th century rebuilding to enlarge the coretto above. The cupola is said to have been Pontormo's first work in the chapel and drawings exist to give us some idea of how it looked. Four tondi of The Evangelists remain in the pendentives, these having been painted by Pontormo along with his then-apprentice Bronzino. It is thought that the oval Madonna and Child by Pontormo, now also in the Palazzo Capponi alle Rovinate, may have been cut down from an altarpiece painted for this chapel.
The Canigiani chapel on the other side of the entrance also had its dome painting destroyed for the coretto and retains its lunette fresco depicting The Miracle of Our Lady of the Snow by Bernardino Poccetti and an Assumption altarpiece by Andrea del Minga, both from 1589.

Three altars along on the right is a spectacular scene looking like it's happening in front of the British Museum, but is actually The Martyrdom of the Seven Maccabee Brothers, begun in 1853 by Antonio Ciseri, and the best of the bad bunch of 19th century paintings here

The cloister
There is an unusual octagonal cloister, built in the 1340 and walled in during the 17th century.

The Sacristy (opened by volunteers on Saturdays from 3.30 to 5.30) and Chapter House
The sacristy (see right), recently restored and reopened in 2006, is a pleasing small space off the right transept, very Brunelleschi (built by a follower to his design) with white walls, pietra serena details and a deep square apse. Here you'll find a Virgin and Child by Giovanni del Biondo, Santa Felicita and her Seven Children by Neri di Bicci, a Crucifix of 1310 by Pacino di Bonaguida, and the highlight, Taddeo Gaddi's Virgin and Child with Saints James the Elder, John the Baptist, Luke and Philip, with prophets in the finials, a polyptych originally painted for the Guicciardini family, and placed in their Chapel of Saint Luke here. Also two detached frescoes, attributed to Niccol˛ di Pietro Gerini, either side of the apse, an Annunciation and a Nativity, both of c.1390.
The Chapter House is all that remains of the Benedictine convent, with a fresco of the Crucifixion by Niccol˛ di Pietro Gerini, signed and dated Nicolo di Pietro Fiorentino 6 March 1387. The seven virtues by him are in the vault roundels. In 1665 most of the other walls in here were frescoed by Cosimo Ulivelli

Lost art
The Coronation of the Virgin with Saints (including Felicity at far left and Benedict far right), an altarpiece originally on the high altar here, commissioned by the nuns, along with the then abbess Lorenza de' Mozzi, in 1395, completed in 1401 and signed by Spinello Aretino, Niccol˛ di Pietro Gerini, and Lorenzo di Niccol˛, now upstairs in the Accademia.

A panel fragment attributed to Sebastiano Mainardi, of The Virgin and Child, now in the Sant'Onofrio di Fuligno refectory was originally from the convent here. The precociously Raphaelesque Three Archangels and Tobias by Domenico di Michelino is now in the Accademia. A panel painted by Bicci di Lorenzo for the Chapel of St Fredianus is now lost.

An illuminated missal from the mid 14th century survives, probably the manuscript bought by Abbess Costanza de'Rossi from the monks at the Badia mentioned in an account book of 1350/58. It's now in the Bodleian Library. One page depicts the martyrdom of Saint Felicity's seven sons (see right).

The church in fiction

In A Rich Full Death by Michael Dibdin the narrator and Robert Browning take refuge from the rain in Santa Felicita and compare conclusions. The church isn't named but they are disturbed when some Americans of their acquaintance come in to admire Pontormo's Deposition.


Santa Lucia de' Magnoli
via de' Bardi


History
The church was founded next to a pilgrims' ospedale in 1078 by Ugoccione della Pressa, and finished by his son MÓgnolo di Uguccione, and so was later known as 'dei MÓgnoli'. Tradition has it that this hospital was where Saint Francis and Saint Dominic met in 1211. It was destroyed by the landslide of 1284, from which the church also suffered severe damage, and so was also subsequently known as Santa Lucia delle Rovinate (of the Ruins) this suffix also being applied to other buildings in the area. In 1421 patronage passed to the Da Uzzano family, who paid for the decoration of the
main chapel, including Domenico Veneziano's high altarpiece (see Lost art below). As part of the dowry of Ginevra Da Uzzano patronage passed to the Capponi family, along with their adjacent palazzo.
Reconsecrated on May 3rd 1584. The church was rebuilt again in 1732, with an aisle-less nave. Further restorations since then. The lunette over the door is St Lucy Flanked by Two Angels by Benedetto Buglioni.

The church is currently used for services by a Polish congregation.

I
nterior
Aisleless with a bare-walled nave with three pietra serena altars each side and a flat frescoed ceiling. The apse is cross vaulted and more baroquely decorated. The first altar on the left has a panel painting of Santa Lucia by Pietro Lorenzetti from around 1320 (see right). Over the next altar is a Madonna in Glory with Saints by Empoli
. The panel depicting The Virgin and Child with Saints John the Baptist, Sylvester, Martin and Filippo Benizzi, on the high altar is by Agnolo di Donino (although the church caption says Florentine School) and was originally in San Giorgio alla Costa up the hill. It replaced the altarpiece by Domenico Veneziano mentioned below.
There is a chapel to the right of the entrance, built in 1714-15 in imitation of the Holy House of Loreto which contains a wooden Madonna deom Loreto. It also houses
The Angel of the Annunciation and The Virgin Annunciate by Jacopo del Sellaio (1473).

Lost art
The coloured-marble-dominated Santa Lucia altarpiece of c.1445 by Domenico Veneziano (see reconstruction below) is one of only two signed works by him to survive. It was commissioned by the heirs of Niccol˛ da Uzzano. The main panel depicting The Virgin and Child with Saints Francis, John the Baptist, Zenobius and Lucy (in the Uffizi since 1861) shows his ability to emulate the lushness and sheen of Netherlandish oil painting. The predella panels depict scenes from the lives of the saints depicted above them in the main panel. They are now in Berlin (The Martyrdom of St. Lucy, looking very sparse and staged), Washington DC (The Stigmata of St. Francis and the justly renowned St John the Baptist in the Desert), and the Fitzwilliam, Cambridge UK (The Annunciation and A Miracle of St Zenobius). The identification of the majority of the predella panels in the 1920s and the subsequent reconstruction of this altarpiece was instrumental in the early 20th century rediscovery of the artist. It was reconstructed for the Italian Art Exhibition at the RA in London in 1930 and in the Uffizi in 1992.

Opening times
For services at 5,00 on Saturdays and 12.00 on Sundays

Bibliography
Divo Savelli Santa Lucia de' Magnoli a Firenze, la chiesa, la Cappella di Loreto, Parrocchia di Santa Lucia de' Magnoli, 2012.
 









 

Santa Maria al Pignone


 

History
The church's name comes from the name of the local area, 'pigna' being an old wharf once to be found nearby on the Arno. In 1785 the old parish was suppressed by the Grand Duke Peter Leopold, and the neo-classical church of Santa Maria al Pignone was built, to designs by Bernardo Fallani, on land owned by the monks of Monte Oliveto, which had been chosen by the Grand Duke  himself. Consecration followed on 30 November 1787. The church was restored in 1931, and completely restructured and redecorated in 1972.

Interior
All that remains of the 18th century structure is the fresco on the ceiling of the The Assumption, otherwise the interior is very bare. The Immaculate Conception and Four Saints by Ludovico Mazzanti (1746) was installed in 1873. More recently three paintings loaned to the church to fill the other three stone frames are Christ changes the heart of Saint Catherine of Siena by Jacopo Vignali (1631), San Bartolomeo heals the son of the demon king of the Indies by Fabrizio Boschi (1635 ) and The Calling of Saint Matthew by Jacopo da Empoli (1620).

The oratory
To the left of church is the oratory of the Madonna del Rosario built in 1793, as is confirmed by an inscription on the fašade, which also bears the name of the man responsible for its building, Vincenzo Boccini, and his family arms. The oratory, unlike the church, retains its 18th century appearance, complete with stucco decoration and original paintings. Beside the altar are the tombs of Boccini and his wife Margaret.

Santa Maria del Carmine


this church now has its own page
 

Santa Monica



History

Built with funds donated to Augustinian nuns by Ubertino de' Bardi in 1442, with work on the church (locally known as Santa Monaca) beginning in 1447. With the patronage of the Capponi family whose coat of arms appears on the fašade above the 15th century doorway. Extensive rebuilding in the 16th century with a new altar with a Deposition by Giovanni Maria Butteri (1583) and nun's choir. The ceiling frescoed around 1700 with The Gloria di San Martino by Cosimo Ulivelli. Suppressed in 1808 and put to various uses since. Currently used for exhibitions and concerts.

Santi Agostino e Cristina



History
The church and the monastery were built by Christina of Lorraine for discalced reformed Augustinian, hence the dual naming. But building was not begun until 1640, to designs by Bernardino Radi and Gherardo Silvani by which time the Grand Duchess was already dead.
Extensively modified in 1817 the church consists of a single aisle with three chapels on each side. Following the suppression of  the order in 1808 the monastery passed into private hands. passing through several owners who greatly altered the original structure. In 1866 it was bought by Philip Schwarzenberg, who created a new facade. Further renovations were made between 1866 and 1873 caused by the enlargement of Costa Scarpuccia. Today the church is deconsecrated and is occupied by swanky offices.
The scholar and poet Giovanni Bartolommeo Casaregi (no, me neither) was buried in the church.

Lost art?
The church once contained S. Augustine by Franceso Petrucci (1660 - 1719), Saint Nicholas of Tolentino by Batista Vanni and a portrait of the Grand Duchess Christina by Santi di Tito.

 

Santi Vito e Modesto


History
The church was founded in the late 11th century by the Knights of Jerusalem, at which time it was dedicated to the Holy Sepulchre. It was rededicated to Saints Vitus and Modestus in the 15th century and became a parish church. It came under the patronage of the Pitti and Mancelli families, later becoming attached to the brotherhood of the Buonuomini of San Martino.
Completely rebuilt in 1662 and again in the 19th century. The present building mostly dates from this last rebuilding.

There is a 15th century loggia and inside the church is The Guardian Angel, a painting by Filippo Tarchiani (17th century), and another 17th century painting,  Saint
Vitus and his Mentors, perhaps by the workshop of Francesco Curradi, who lived nearby. Also The Martyrdom of Santa Cristina by the 19th century Merton-born English painter George Augustus Wallis (see right).

Frescoes have been discovered under the paintings by Tarchiani and Wallis. One from 1391 The Legend of Saint Vitus, perhaps by Jacopo da Firenze and one from 1577 of The Stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi by an unknown hand.

The organ, by Pietro Agati, was acquired in 1811 when the nearby monastery of Monte Oliveto was suppressed and its possessions were sold off. It has recently (2009) been restored.

 


 




 

Santo Spirito


this church now has its own page
 

 

 


 

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