The Oltrarno, literally beyond the Arno, is a quartier of Florence city centre. Santo Spirito is a stop you do not have to miss in the city tour of Florence. It is one of the most authentic quartier of the town, and when you walk through these streets, you breath like a real florentine. You can get lost admiring the beautiful windows of the countless number of craft shops and stores located in the other side of Arno River: cobblers, leather workers, tailors, blacksmiths, vintage shops, ceramics.
The very heart of this quartier is of course the Piazza lined with good restaurants and bars looking out onto the square beneath the façade of Brunelleschi’s basilica di Santa Maria del Santo Spirito.
The particular ambiance attracts a mixed crowd of young students, hipsters and artists, since the Aperitivo till early morning.
The Basilica facing the square, is one of the pre-eminent examples of Renaissance architecture. Filippo Brunelleschi designed it around 1428, but he died before the works were completed. He therefore did not have the opportunity to design the facade, which is blank and it is today one of the most beloved features of the church.
Inside the church you can admire one of the first Michelangelo Buonarroti artworks, a wooden crucifix, sculptured when he was just seventeen.
In a couple of steps you will be in front of Palazzo Pitti, a massive renaissance palace, once the house of Luca Pitti, a rich florentine banker.
The ancient palace was bought by Medicy Family in 1549 and became one of the chief residences of Gran Duchy of Tuscany. Now is the location of several museums: Silver Museum, Porcelaine Museum, Costume Museum, The Gallery of Modern Art, Carriages Museum. Inside many artworks by Raffaello, Caravaggio, Tiziano.
On the back of Palazzo Pitti, the wonderful Boboli Gardens, a place full of magic. It took more architects to build this garden that to realize the whole palace.
In this project participated illustrious names as Ammannati, Buontalenti, Vasari, Alfonso Parigi.