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Churches in Florence

Florence, like many Italian cities, is filled with churches. But as the cradle of the Renaissance, it was specifically for many of these churches and family chapels that magnificent works of art were commissioned of the greatest artists of all time. Therefore, in order to see many of these masterpieces it is necessary to visit at least a few churches. We recommend you visit some of the following churches in Florence.

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The Duomo, Florence's Cathedral

The famous cathedral dome dominates the skyline of Florence, with its eight white ribs against a background of terracotta tiles. Close up it is so huge as to be quite overwhelming.

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Climbing to the top of the Duomo in Florence

Climb to the top of the cathedral's dome to enjoy an extraordinary view of Florence. Be prepared to climb lots of steps!

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Santa Maria Novella Church

The decorative marble facade of Tuscany's most important Gothic church incorporates billowing sails and ostrich feathers (emblem of the Medici). The church houses immense artistic treasures, donated by wealthy patrons, many with chapels named after them.

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Florence Baptistery

In Piazza del Duomo, Florence's religious center, stands the Baptistery of St. John. It is dedicated to Florence's patron and displays great Renaissance masterpieces such as the "Gates of Paradise" by Ghiberti and the "Beheading of St. John" by Vincenzo Danti.

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Another Brunelleschi Masterpiece: the Basilica of Santo Spirito

This church is considered Brunelleschi’s masterpiece on the other side of the Arno River.  You might just walk right past without ever knowing that there is a treasure trove inside, housing Michelangelo, Perugino and Andrea di Orcagna!

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Basilica Santissima Annunziata & the Holy Door of Florence

The spiritual importance of the Basilica Santissima Annunziata is rivaled only by its immense artistic heritage. This amazingly unique church shines forth not only for its particular beauty and architecture but also as a “Porta Santa”, a Holy Door.

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The Church of Santa Croce

Despite the vast size and the swarms of tourists who flock here, the Franciscan church of Santa Croce is a touchingly intimate place, perhaps because of the sense that one somehow knows the people buried here.

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The Brancacci Chapel in Santa Maria del Carmine

The Brancacci Chapel marks the start of the Renaissance, with Masaccio's frescoes expressing the power and brilliance that inspired the Florentine painters of the 15th century.

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The Bell Tower by Giotto

Giotto’s Campanile is the bell tower for the Church of Santa Maria del Fiore, also known as the Cathedral of Florence. It is a splendid example of Florentine Gothic architecture from the 1300’s and should be admired from the outside and the inside. Climb to the top and feast yours eye upon the incredible FLorentine skyline and the rolling hills that surround the city.

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Visit the Church of St. Trinity

Once just outsid the city walls, the Santa Trinità church was built in the 11th century by monks of the Vallombrosan order. Inside you can admire several frescoed chapels and works of art by Tuscan artists such as Bicci di Lorenzo, Rossellino, Luca della Robbia and Ghirlandaio.

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The Medici Chapels

Mausoleum of the Medici family, the Medici Chapels are a monument to the family’s artistic patronage and grandeur in Florence.

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Orsanmichele Church and Museum

In the heart of Florence, this unique architecture presense seems a bit out of place. Orsanmichele reflects the strong presence and importance of the guilds in Florence: decorated with their emblems and patron saints that adorn the exterior of the building. Learn more about its miraculos origin.

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The Church of San Miniato al Monte

Set above the panoramic terrace of Piazzale Michelangelo, the elegant church of San Miniato al Monte, seems to preside over all of Florence.  Climb the steps and wander through its halls, crypt and monumental cemetary.

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The Church of San Marco

Founded in the 13th century, San Marco became Cosimo il Vecchio's favorite spiritual refuge in the 14th century. Handed over to the Dominican monks from Fiesole, his patronage led to

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San Lorenzo Church & Monumental Complex

So much more than what it seems, San Lorenzo, the parish church for the Medici family, and the Cappelle Medicee form a monument to the artistic patronage and dynastic grandeur of the Medici in Florence. Learn what you are looking at with our mini guide.

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The Marino Marini Museum & the Rucellai Sepulchre

This special space dedicated to the contemporary artist Marino Marini creates a surprising yet pleasant contrast with the historic backdrop of the ex-chuch of San Pancrazio & the highly praised work of Leon Battista Alberti. A visit will have you comparing past and present in an inviting and luminous atmosphere.

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Santi Apostoli: Just Outside the Ancient Walls

While in the middle of the occassionally loud and constantly active city of Florence sometimes you just need to take a breather. Step back from the noise and frenetic hustle of modern day Italy and the tourists. Its easy to find the silence of yesteryear with only a few short steps to the right.

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The Church of Sant'Ambrogio in the Santa Croce area

This church is off most people's itineraries but some of the treasures inside, including the frescoes by Cosimo Rosselli and marble tabernacle by Mino di Fiesole, merit a stop when you're in the area.

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