Piazza Santo Spirito, stretching in the southern part of Florence, mirrors, geographically speaking, Piazza Santa Trinita, filling much of the space interposed between Via dei Serragli (which is the land extension of Ponte alla Carraia) – to the west – and Via Maggio (extension of Ponte Santa Trinita) – to the east. Its undeniable landmark refers to the Church of Santo Spirito, a definite attraction to be ticked off on the cultural tourist circuit of Florence. The Church of Santo Spirito stands out as the last work of Brunelleschi, the genius architect of the capital of Tuscany, and it is one of the most exquisite embodiments of pure Renaissance architecture unadulterated by the contribution of other styles, despite the fact Brunelleschi’s work was carried out after his death by other architects (Antonio Manetti, for instance). The lack of the façade can, eventually, be interpreted as a sign of respect to the unfinished work of Brrnelleschi, though, on the other hand, this feature is quite common to plenty of the religious establishments of Florence.

The Church of Santo Spirito comprises more than 30 chapels, which is enough for imagining the array of art works populating them and, implicitly, the church as such. Such masterpieces pertain to Simone del Pollaiolo, Giuliano da Sangallo, Andrea Sansovino, Filippino Lippi, Ghirlandaio, and even Michelangelo with his wooden crucifix originally placed above the altar, but subsequently sheltered in the sacristy. The cloisters pertaining to this church, The Cloister of the Dead and the Grand Cloister, are also well worth visiting, Donatello, Tino da Camaino, Alfonso Parigi and Bartolomeo Ammannati being the chief contributors to the artistic patrimony of these additional structures. The Church of Santo Spirito aside, Piazza Santo Spirito is also highlighted by the Palazzo Guadagni, a building erected in early 16th century (by either Simone dal Pollaiolo or Baccio d’Agnolo) which underwent major reconfigurations and restorations in time managing, however, to maintain its statute as historic edifice of Florence. Musei di Firenze (Museum of Florence) as well as Convento Padri Agostiniani complement by their presence the tourist asset of Piazza Santo Spirito. Furthermore, tourists should keep in mind the bordering streets and avenues are dotted with coffee shops and other sundry leisure time opportunities, which is why in this case sightseeing is conveniently complemented by some well deserved intermissions.

Piazza Santo Spirito, Florence

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