I have to begin by saying
that, as with my
Churches of Venice site, this is a site
inspired by my passion for art, architecture and history, not
by religious belief. The differences from the Venice site are -
more frescoes, more gothic and more architectural variety.
Venice's division into sestieri made the organisation of that site
easier, though. In 1343 Florence was divided into four quartieri,
each was named after its most important church - Santo Spirito, Santa
Croce, Santa Maria Novella and San Giovanni (the Baptistery). Here I've gone with a version of this division
- labelled East, West, Centre and Oltrarno. Only the East/West split needs
explaining, I think - it is divided by the via Cavour so you'll need to
tilt your map a little anti-clockwise to 'get' it. The centre is basically
the area east of (but not including) Santa Maria Novella; and south and
west of (and including) the Duomo. Each area thereby gets two unmissable
For the outer limits I've gone largely with the outer (14th-century) city
walls. I say 'largely' because I couldn't really ignore San Miniato and
San Salvi. And a few more are also essential, through their connections
with other churches or for the art that they once housed. In June 2015 I added
a page devoted to Fiesole - how could I not? - and in early 2017 a page
devoted to Siena became presentable.
Prato, Arezzo and Pisa are some more possible later additions.
A word about hospitals. As with convents and monasteries it's impossible
to write about churches in Florence and not mention the ospedali.
But if - and this is admittedly not usual - they did not or do not now
have churches attached I've tended to exclude them.
There is no current book, certainly not in English, that lists all of the
churches. And although there is a comprehensive selection on the Italian
Wikipedia site, the entries there are mostly sparse and often taken
word-for-word from those old brown boards on poles outside the important
buildings of Florence, which are often more than somewhat unreliable. My
most-used bibliographic sources are listed below, with any useful books that are devoted to just
one church listed in that church's entry.
To search just within this site using Google, enter your search terms
into the box as usual and then type in site:churchesofflorence.com
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This year has been a bit lean
with regard to work on the Florence pages, but I'm currently reading a
book called From Giotto to Botticelli - the artistic patronage of the
Humiliati in Florence which looks like being a trove for my
Ognissanti page. And a trip to Florence
is booked for April next year, with a new and creativity-encouraging
back from Siena a couple of weeks, so them pages has been getting very
much improvified. Some recent books and exhibition catalogues devoted to
Florence have been read too, resulting in sundry bits of extra enlightenment here
and there. Improvement rather than expansion is my goal this year.
Just back from my trip to Florence and
Arezzo with a fair amount of info and photos to add to the Florence pages,
and small content but big hopes for a future page devoted to Arezzo.
Time is being spent preparing for a trip to Florence and Arezzo
early next month. This will result in some updates to the Florence pages,
no doubt, and the waters of possibility of an
Arezzo page will also be tested.
News reaches me that the team behind
the virtual reconstruction of
San Pier Maggiore as few years back,
and the exhibition that resulted, centred on Botticini's Assumption of
the Virgin, might be turning their attentions to
de'Magnoli - a less obvious choice, to say the least.
Just back from a very full guided trip to Siena and the
Ambrogio Lorenzetti exhibition but, despite not much spare time, it was
pretty fruitful of fresh
content - words and photos - to be added this month, all before Easter I
Also all the new Siena content made me consider a bit of site-title
The Churches of Florence and Siena
seems a better reflection of said content, no?