FLORENCE — San Lorenzo

This area is full of the history of the Medici family. Here you will find the basilica, which was the Medici family’s parish church as well as their family mansion. This area covers Viale Filippo Strozzi in the north, Via de’ Cerretani in the south, Via de’ Martelli in the east and west to Via Faenza.

The sights to visit in this area are:
Basilica di San Lorenzo
Cappelle Medicee
Macchine di Leonardo
Mercato Centrale
Palazzo Medici-Riccardi

Basilica di San Lorenzo

Basilica di San Lorenzo
This 15th century church commissioned by the Medici family is a great example of Florentine Renaissance architecture. It is one of the largest churches in Florence, situated at the centre of the city’s main market district and is one of several churches that claim to be the oldest in Florence. Inside there is a central nave and two side aisles. The nave is covered with a beautiful sunken panel ceiling. Near the end of the nave there are two bronze pulpits by Donatello. Other famous masterpieces adorn the side chapels: including the Marriage of the Virgin by Rosso Fiorentino and Desiderio da Settignano's Tabernacle. On the left side of the transept you will find Angolo Bronzino’s fresco Martyrdom of San Lorenzo and Fillipo Lippi’s Annunciation. In the Old Sacristy you will find some of Donatello’s greatest masterpieces — eight round polychrome reliefs depicting the Evangelists and Episodes from the Life of Saint John. The two bronze double doors next to the apse are also worth a look.

Traveller's Tip

You must stop at the Laurentian Library (closed to the public) designed by Michelangelo to house the Medici’s manuscript collection to see the magnificent flight of stairs, found at the entrance to the reading room.
Cappelle Medicee

Cappelle Medicee
These are the Medici chapels and it is here that you will find their tombs complete with Michelangelo sculptures.
For more information visit the website: http://www.firenzemusei.it/00_english/medicee/index.html

Macchine di Leonardo
This houses models of Leonardo de Vinci’s wonderful inventions including his ideas for flying machines, a bicycle, a glider, a tank and others, centuries ahead of their time.
For more information visit the website: http://www.macchinedileonardo.com

Mercato Centrale

Mercato Centrale
This iron and glass building houses Florence’s central produce market. You will also find here streets of the clothing and leather markets.

Traveller's Tip

The Mercato Centrale is a great place to buy all you need for a tasty alfresco lunch or dinner. The food is cheap, fresh and delicious.
Palazzo Medici-Riccardi

Palazzo Medici-Riccardi
This was the residence of the Medici family until 1540 when it was acquired and remodeled in the 17th century by the Riccardi family. It is possible to go into some of the rooms but much of the building is now used for office space. The best place to visit is the chapel (Capella dei Magi) with its wonderful frescos by Benozzo Gozzoli.
For more information visit the website at: http://www.palazzo-medici.it