Results 1-4of 4 Reviews
by Ben and Crystal
June 10, 2006
From journal Italy: Firenze
Washington, D.C., Washington
March 15, 2006
Sheltered by the meandering stone streets of the Oltrarno, Santo Spirito is perched unassumingly in a small piazza. Fathered by Brunelleschi, Santo Spirito exists as a haven for those who live beyond the shadow of the Duomo. The Spanish sun seems to shine in this piazza, only a 10 minute walk from the crowds on the Ponte Vecchio. Locals languor on benches surrounding the fountain, which provides little solace for the neighborhood dogs on August afternoons. Life seems to be measured in solitary minutes, fragments of conversation, and rays of sunlight in the Piazza di Santo Spirito.This simplicity of life is a direct result of the simplicity of Santo Spirito. Stark white, sun-baked stone, heavy wooden doors that hide the beauty of the interior, a solitary centered window that betrays none of the vibrant colors visible from the aisles and the altars. From the outside it is not hard to believe that Brunelleschi died before Santo Spirito’s completion; and yet, it is impossible to believe he could have imagined it any other way.
The Florentines have imagined it ad infinitum. The manifestations of 300 such schemes line the walls of the Ricchi café, a tribute to Brunelleschi’s temporal genius in the fashion of the 1980s. Anachronisms and allusions, materialism and make-believe, skyscrapers and peacocks—all have spent hours projected onto the façade of Santo Spirito. As Italian teens transformed straight hair into wavy perms, and lined their wrists with magenta bangle bracelets, Brunelleschi’s youngest child underwent a similar rebellion, at times gaudy, occasionally profound. QUI IO SONO FELICE.And I am. I almost forget that the wooden doors are protecting an interior that must be equally intriguing. The soothing white has left me numb and spellbound, calm and unsettled.The hinges growl and I am welcomed inside the church with scowls and shhs. Apparently I have stumbled upon a Santo Spirito devoid of the omnipresent Kodak-toting tourist. An old lady in the last pew glares.Mi dispiace.But the creases in her brow only multiply. I saunter down the right altar, breezing by a replica of Michelangelo’s "Pieta" and a Filippo Lippi painitng. I do not loosen my shoulders until I am out of the range of her piercing eyes.At this point my profound personal tour is futile. I look; I take notes; I think; I stare at my notes; I covet my neighbor’s good fortune: she has found inspiration in the amalgamation of angel wings and the crucifixions in the vestibule.Heavy brown drapes snuff the flames of a dozen stained glass windows. I shiver. I miss the piazza.Outside again, I stare at the façade until my mind becomes its mirror image. Clear, invigorated by the late afternoon sun. One of the framed drawings from the café returns to my mind. Laughing, I finally understand this drawing that initially made my nose wrinkle in disapproval.I blink and Santo Spirito is covered in a dozen scattered kisses of Clinique, Bamboo Pink, Long Last Soft Shine Lipstick.
From journal Summer all'Italiano
June 30, 2001
The church of Santo Spirito is regarded by many as the most beautiful church interior in town. There is no admission charge to view the sanctuary with its beautiful artwork. There is a beautiful version of Madonna and Child here.
From journal FLORENCE
by Mary Porcher
New Haven, Connecticut
March 27, 2001
Santo Spirito is the perfect addition to a day’s itinerary that includes the Pitti Palace and Boboli gardens, because it is one of the few well-known attractions close by. The church’s unfinished façade is very plain, although it has a pretty shape. The interior is a beautiful example of Renaissance architecture. There are beautiful color paintings by Lippi, Botticini, and others. The huge colums and majestic arches really give this place a nice feel. This sight is definitely worth seeing, because Jason and I went without my mom, who was feeling a bit sick. We sent her there later in the day to make sure that she saw it.
Ratings 1-10 (10 is "see this no matter what!" and 0 is "avoid it!")Jason: 8, Mary 8, Mom 7
From journal Five Days in Florence