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Churches & Cathedrals

The churches and cathedrals of Florence hold an infinite amount of treasures. From the world famous Duomo to the smaller churches like Santa Felicita there are so many paintings, sculptures, relics and other things to see in Florence's churches that it would probably take a lifetime to count visit them all. In this section we point out both the major and minor, and some special "off the beaten" path things to see.

Churches of Florence Map

You can navigate to many of these Churches & Cathedrals from the links in the below map: This page contains links to all of our articles about Florence's Churches & Cathedrals listed alphabetically:

Basilica of Santa Croce

All new photo album of the church of Santa Croce coming soon! Most of the points on the below map will be included: From the Opera di Santa Croce: The Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence was built circa 1294, perhaps by a plan of Arnolfo di Cambio. It was constructed with funding from the population and the Florentine Republic and built above the foundations of a small church which some monks ... read more.

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the "Duomo"

santa-maria-del-fiore.jpg Santa Maria del Fiore, or the Duomo, is the cathedral church of Florence, dedicated to the Madonna of Florence. The basilica is one of the largest churches in Italy and until the modern era, the dome was the largest in the world. It remains the largest brick dome ever constructed. The church's three buildings (including the baptistry and Giotto's tower) form part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site ... read more.

Certosa del Galluzzo

The Certosa del Galluzzo is a hill top monastery just outside of Florence - a short drive (out the Porta Romana and follow the Via Senese), or accessible by bus or taxi. The 37 bus used to service this route, but that route seems to have disappeared from the ATAF website - the 36 looks like the one to take now. You will have to walk up the hill (here is a large image of the route). The monastery ... read more.

Great Synagogue

The Great Synagogue (Tempio Maggiore) was built between 1874 and 1882. The architects were Mariano Falcini, Professor Vincente Micheli, and Marco Treves who built the structure in the Spanish-Moresco style. Layers of travertine and granite alternate create a striped effect on the facade. Old photographs show bold red and beige stripes, but the bold colors of the stone have faded over time, leavi... read more.

Michelangelo's San Lorenzo facade

Here is a picture from the projection of Michelangelo's San Lorenzo facade - we will be adding a couple of more into the Florence photo album soon. ... read more.


Ognissanti

The Church of Ognissanti (All-Saints Church) is a Franciscan church founded by the lay order of the Umiliati, a Benedictine order particularly skilled in manufacturing wool. It was completed during the 1250s, but almost completely rebuilt on the Baroque designs of Bartolomeo Pettirossi, in 1627. Ognissanti was among the first examples of Baroque architecture to be built in Florence. The Umilia... read more.

Orsanmichele

One of the most beautiful architectural examples in Florence and a great source of Florentine civic pride, the church and museum of Orsanmichele is a rewarding stop in any itinerary of Florence. Orsanmichele is known for the sculptures of saints placed in the niches or tabernacles on all four sides of the church by the various guilds of Florence. Executed between 1340 and 1602, they form a time... read more.

Russian Orthodox Church

This beautiful church was built by the Russian community of Florence which played a signficant role in the development and history of the city. It is officially called the Orthodox Russian church of the Nativity of Christ and Saint Nicholas in Florence. The church was built between 1899 and 1903 by the talented Russian architect Michail Prà©obraženskij. It has five onion-shaped domes and houses... read more.

San Frediano in Cestello

The Church of San Frediano in Cestello is located in the Oltrarno section of Florence. The unfinished façade faces the Arno (with the Piazza del Cestello between the church and the river) and the rear of the church runs along Borgo San Frediano. (Click the image below for a slide show) ... read more.

San Lorenzo

There has been a church on the site of San Lorenzo since 393, making it one of the oldest churches in Florence. The church as it appears now, however, is the result of a renovation begun in 1421 by Giovanni di Bicci de'Medici, who commissioned a new design for the church from Filippo Brunelleschi. This began a relationship between the Medici family and San Lorenzo that lasted for more than a cent... read more.

San Marco Audio Guide

"The Jane's Smart Art audio guide to San Marco is an adaptation of a now out-of-print book written by William Hood, the renowned Fra Angelico scholar. One in the series The Great Fresco Cycles of the Renaissance, Professor Hood's book treated the Fra Angelico frescoes of San Marco in the context of their religious, artistic, and historical significance." This looks sounds interesting - and is av... read more.

San Miniato al Monte

The Basilica of San Miniato al Monte is one of the oldest churches in Florence and is frequently called the finest Romanesque basilica in all of Italy. The church as we know it today was started around 1018 and took over one hundred years to complete. St. Minias was possibly from Armenia and believed to have been martyred around 250 (he was beheaded during the anti-Christian persecutions of the E... read more.

Sant'Alessandro a Giogoli

Sant'Alessandro a Giogoli is a very interesting looking Romanesque church (12C) on the way from Florence to Montespertoli. It is just off of the SP4 (Strada Provinciale) or Via Volterrana and is surrounded by olive groves. The sign on the front says there is a Ghirlandaio inside, but the church was closed both in the morning and in the afternoon on my way back and forth from Montespertoli to visit... read more.

Sant'Ambrogio

Allegedly built where Saint Ambrose would have stayed when in Florence in 393, the church dates back to 998 as a chapel of a nunnery built in honour of the saint. It was rebuilt in the 19th century but still has an original open timber roof. The church contains numerous frescos, altarpieces, and other artwork attributed to Andrea Orcagna, Agnolo Gaddi, Niccolò Gerini, Lorenzo di Bicci, Masaccio... read more.

Santa Felicita

Santa Felicita is the second oldest church in Florence after the church of San Lorenzo. Originally built around the late 4th and early 5th century, the church was dedicated to St. Felicity, a Roman widow believed to have been put to death in the year 165, along with her seven sons. A new church was built on the original site in the 11th century and the present church was erected in 1736-39 by Ferd... read more.

Santa Maria Novella

santa-maria-novella-facade.JPG Started in 1221, Santa Maria Novella is chronologically the oldest great basilica in Florence. It was designed by two Dominican friars, Fra Sisto Fiorentino and Fra Ristoro da Campi, and the Dominican order still operate the church. Further work on the basilica continued on commission from Giovanni di Paolo Rucellai who asked Leone Battista Alberti to complete the magnificent façade. The structure... read more.

Santa Maria del Carmine

Santa Maria del Carmine is a church of the Carmelite Order. It is famous for its Brancacci Chapel which houses magnificent Renaissance frescoes by Masaccio and Masolino da Panicale, later finished by Filippino Lippi. The church, dedicated to the BeatঠVirginis Mariঠde monte Carmelo, began to be built in 1268 as part of the Carmelite convent, which still exists today. Of the original edifice S... read more.

Santa Trìnita

Santa Trìnita (the accent on the first vowel connotes the latin origin of the name) is a Florentine church of the Vallumbrosan Order of monks founded in 1092 by a Florentine nobleman. The church is noted for the Sassetti Chapel (along with many other works), containing notable frescoes by Domenico Ghirlandaio that represent true masterpieces of 15th century art. The current church was constructe... read more.

Santissima Annunziata

This church was built in 1250 by the seven original members of the Servite order. In 1252, a painting of the Annunciation, which had been begun by one of the monks but abandoned in despair because he did not feel he could create a beautiful enough image, was supposedly completed by an angel while he slept. This painting was placed in the church and became extremely venerated. The facade of the c... read more.

Santo Spirito

The Basilica of Santa Maria del Santo Spirito ("St. Mary of the Holy Spirit") is located in the Oltrarno quarter of Florence, facing the piazza with the same name. The basilica is a pre-eminent examples of Renaissance architecture. The current church was constructed over the pre-existing ruins of a 13th century Augustinian convent which was destroyed by a fire in 1471. Filippo Brunelleschi began... read more.

Santo Spirito Opening Hours

It has been difficult at times to find Santo Spirito open during the last few years. Piazza Santo Spirito has a reputation of being a little wild at night, and for awhile the church had completely closed to visitors (there were masses only). The church appears to be open again on a regular basis, and they have a new sign up detailing their hours: ... read more.



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