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What you will find

Designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, construction of the church began in 1444 but was halted due to the architect’s death only two years later. Studied and admired by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, the interior vaunts treasured artworks, including the Madonna and Child and Saints by Filippino Lippi and Michelangelo’s wooden Crucifix, an early work now housed in the church's sacristy. 

After the death of his patron, Lorenzo de’ Medici, the young Michelangelo (aged 17) found refuge in the church, helped by the prior. Vasari writes that the Crucifix was made to “please the prior, who gave him suitable rooms.” It was here that Michelangelo also examined corpses to further his anatomical studies. Grateful for the church’s aid, he donated the striking crucifix, which visitors can admire and observe today. 

The Santo Spirito Sacristy is considered a small Renaissance treasure. Passing through Sansovino’s vestibule (an antechamber inspired by the Roman Pantheon), you'll find the work of Giuliano da Sangallo, a structure later completed by Antonio del Pollaiolo.

The interior of the church is divided into three naves divided by Corinthian columns. The sides boast 40 small apses decorated with 15th-century altarpieces. This interior design, which creates a sense of unity between the various church sections, is a rarity in Florence for both the quality and quantity of decorations inside: a feature that led to it being considered “the most beautiful church in the world.”

Free entry.

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Where / Meeting point

Piazza Santo Spirito, 30, Firenze - 50125 Firenze

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