The Basilica of Santa Croce was built in Florence in 1294 on the remains of a Franciscan church after the death of St. Francis of Assisi. It is located in the Plaza of the same name. Since its inception it has been a very important church. It has always been a meeting place for nobility, especially the Medici family. Throughout its history, it has undergone many modifications, ending up today as the Pantheon of the Italian Glories. Within the basilica are the tombs of Dante, Macchiavelo, Galileo Galilei, Michelangelo and others. A very interesting place.
The Basilica of Santa Maria Novella is one of the largest churches of Florence. It is located northwest of the old part of the city near the railway station. Its facade boasts with different colorful marbles. Predominantly white and green, it was completed in 1470 by the Genoese, Leon Battista Alberti. Its wonderful facade is one of the most important works of the Italian Renaissance. The Basilica together with the square and adjoining buildings is impressive. There is also the Convent with its cloisters, which houses a museum with five different chapels.
Austere Romanesque church from then XII century that was built on a sixth-century basilica. It is largely covered with white stone from a nearby amphitheater. In the center of the doorway a beautiful mosaic highlights Byzantine air of XIII century, the work done by local artists. Like other churches in the city, it has a graceful bell tower. The interior has the same austere appearance, although it has some archaeological features of interest: the beautiful capitals are likely from the Roman amphitheater. There is also a beautiful baptismal font with scenes from the life of Moses.
The Basilica of San Lorenzo is the oldest in Florence, consecrated by St. Ambrose in 393. It was rebuilt in 1490 and was first commissioned by Brunelleschi. Inside are paintings by renowned artists and it is flanked by two vestries, one on each side. The first was designed by Brunelleschi and the second by Miguel Angel. Michelangelo made the tombs of the Medici, so it is called Medici Chapel. To the left of it is the Laurentian Bibliotea, also designed by Miguel Angel at the request of the Medici family ve wanted a safe place to store large collections of books and manuscripts. Very near this Basilica is the famous San Lorenzo Market, also called the Straw Market. This complex is about four or five blocks from Santa Maria del Fiore and the Baptistry.
The Church of San Michele in Foro is in the Piazza San Michele and rests on the site of the ancient Roman forum. It is a Pisan Romanesque-style temple and its construction began in the 11th century on the ruins of another church of the 8th century. The façade is built with large blocks of limestone and, oddly enough, the facade is considerably higher than the church itself. No one knows why, but it could be for financial reasons; maybe they ran out of money and the rest of thechurch remained at a lower height. It stands out because the top is a 13th century statue of the Archangel Michael and measures 4 meters high. The interior consists of a rooms and two aisles. In the chancel, there is the large Byzantine-style crucifix in wood by the Tuscan sculptor and painter Berlinghiero Berlinghieri.
This church is in a charming Oltrarno area of Florence without many tourists, it's found in a cozy space reminiscent of Tuscan village squares. Inside are works by renowned painters of the Florentine school and it was designed by Brunelleschi. You'll be surprised.
Built in 1230, it was originally known as Santa Maria di Pontenovo. The name of Spina (the spine) is derived from the presence of a thorn, a relic allegedly belonging to Christ's crown of thorns, which was brought here in 1333. In 1871, the church was moved and rebuilt at a higher level, to keep it safe from the waters of the River Arno. During the process, the church was slightly altered. It has a single nave with a nineteenth century painted ceiling, and in the centre you can see one of the greatest masterpieces of Gothic sculpture, the Virgin of the Rose, by Andrea and Nino Pisano. Another of their statues, the Madonna del Latte, was here, but was moved to the Museo Nazionale di San Matteo.
This was one of the first buildings built after the Medicis took over the city. It has a Latin cross design and a single nave with an octagonal dome. The baroque interior houses many works of art. The main altar was built by dei Flaminio, and was conducted over 24 years, from 1617, to 1631. Here you can see the terracotta bust of Madonna di Provenzano. In this square you have a beautiful view of the Tuscan landscape.
This basilica was built between the years 1228 and 1255. It was later enlarged in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and the original Romanesque building thus became Gothic. It has a large nave with significant wood paneling. Its interior survived the great fire that happened in the seventeenth century. It houses important paintings, stained glass and artwork. The complex includes university branches, including an economic department that's fortunate to have access to one of the cloisters, which also leads to their library.
This small church stands near the Piazza dei Cavalieri. Officially consecrated in 1133, it once hosted the Council of Elders. Today, it is a real historical gem, and one of the city's best-preserved buildings. It is a stone building with three naves, and granite columns.
Few know that in this city there is a church with an octagan floor, located on the shore of the Armo River, and constructed in the middle of the XII century by orders from the Knights, by the same architect ve made the baptistery. It has three doorways and the construction is crowned with a tower in the shape of a pyramid.
The San Frediano Church, constructed in 1061, having 3 ships, houses a XII century crucifix. During a renovation they added 16th century paintings, including works by Ventura Salimbeni, Domenico Passignano, Aurelio Lomi, and Rutilius Manetti, among others. It is situated a few meters from Piazza Dante, and is the church beloning to the university.
The parish of San Donato in Poggio, from which it takes its name, the nearby medieval village, is a magnificent example of Romanic church in Tuscany, in an excellent state of preservation. It's foundation dates from the beginning of the year 1000, although the present building probably ended after a couple of centuries. Like many churches of Chianti, it preserves great value works of art: a wooden crucifix, in the apse, and a baptismal font in glazed terracotta attributed to Giovanni della Robbia.
About 73 kilometers away from Siena, in Tuscany, Italy is where you'll find an almost magical town. This town seems stuck in the Middle Ages. Radicofani sits at about 800 meters above sea level, and its streets with stone houses seem like they "watch" over a beautiful mountain fortress. In the past, Radicofani was called "CalleMala" and every house was built around its castle. This was pretty typical throughout Tuscany and Lazio, and was coveted by nobles and the church. Since the 12th century, Radicofani has undergone papal jurisdiction, first under Pope Adrian IV and later, under Pope Innocent III. Later, a nobleman named Ghino Tacco, snatched the clergy and the castle was then renamed Ghino Manor Tacca. Interestingly enough, we can see his name mentioned in the "classics" as it is quoted by two famous poets, Dante Alighieri in his "Divine Commedy" and Giovanni Boccaccio in the "Decameron." Throughout history the castle has undergone various dominations, such as "The Medicis" and The Dukes of Lorraine, who were the last people to exercise power in Radicofani, until it was incorporated into the Kingdom of Italy under King Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoia. Walking through the streets of Radicofani is like walking through history while enjoying the locals' hospitality and the tranquility and beauty of Tuscany.