Results 1-5of 5 Reviews
St. Augustine, Florida
October 19, 2009
From journal Churches in Florence - The Major Players
blackpool, United Kingdom
August 20, 2004
Yet San Lorenzo, designed by Brunelleschi for the Medici in 1420, rewards its visitors in more ways than its illustrious neighbour. While the interior of the Duomo is imposing largely for its sheer size (Savonarola regularly preached to 10,000 and it has a capacity of 20,000) the beautiful early Renaissance design of San Lorenzo is enhanced by the decorative work of such luminaries as Michelangelo, Donatello, Filippo Lippi, Rosso Fiorentino, and Bronzino. Immediately striking are Donatello's great bronze pulpits, his last work, finished by his students after his death. Examine closely his dramatic panel reliefs depicting scenes of the crucifixion. Nearby is Bronzino's mannerist fresco The Martyrdom of St. Lawrence, a heaving mass of contorted human bodies. And in the chapel behind that there is a fine Annunciation by Filippo Lippi looking down on the spot where Donatello, his housemate in Palazzo Medici, is laid to rest. Don't miss Michelangelo's extraordinary staircase leading up to the Laurentian library he designed for the Medicean manuscripts and books, or the pleasant cloister, also off the left aisle. Michelangelo is more renowned for his work in the Medici Chapels, part of the Basilica but with a separate entrance (and admission fee). We'll visit there later.
San Lorenzo, like the other great Brunelleschi church, Santo Spirito, possesses the added attraction of not being overrun by tourist hordes doggedly following the guide's raised umbrella. Perhaps the plain brick facade is insufficiently enticing. This means you can enjoy its soothing tranquillity in peace without feeling you're in the midst of a football crowd which can seem even more attractive because immediately outside, snuggling up to the basilica, is
its counterpoint, the boisterous commercialism of the street market. This juxtaposition of the House of God with money, buying and selling, always reminds me of Jesus and the moneylenders and sellers in the temple. Emerging from the
cool, classical interior of the church into the hot, bright tumult of Piazza San Lorenzo one afternoon I was reminded of lyrics from the musical Jesus Christ Superstar.
"Roll on up for my price is down,
Come on in for the best in town,
Take your pick of the finest wine,
Lay your bets on this bird of mine".
A final tip since we're on the subject of money and bargains. If you have a cash flow problem try to arrive when a service is taking place. It's closed to visitors, but nod towards the worshippers at the front and you'll be waved in free. When the service ends you're free to explore.
From journal Living and Learning in the Cradle of the Renaissance
August 31, 2003
From journal Michelangelo's Florence
May 13, 2001
From journal Florence, Italy
by Mary Porcher
New Haven, Connecticut
March 27, 2001
This is one of the few churches that is actually open all day from 9-5, even though the books might say differently. Most of the churches are open from 9-Noon and 3-5, roughly. This is why it’s so important to plan your itinerary. But if this church keeps its all day hours, it is one of the few sights that you can see at 1:30. It’s a nice church to sit on the base of a column inside and do some journaling, because it isn’t excessively crowded.
This is another church with a deceiving exterior. The outside may be plain, but the huge columns and unique look and feel inside are worth seeing. It was one of the best churches we saw (behind Santa Croce) because of the number of paintings and the height of the ceiling. The dome looked like a smaller version of the Duomo in Santa Maria del Fiore.
Ratings 1-10 (10 is "see this no matter what!" and 0 is "avoid it!")Jason: 7, Mary 8, Mom 8
From journal Five Days in Florence