Address: Piazza Santo Spirito
The church of Santo Spirito founded in 1250 received its
present form in the 15th century when it was built after a model
by Brunelleschi who had conceived it as a twin to the church of
San Lorenzo. The facade however was never finished and is still
only a rough plastered wall with an undefined silhouette at the
The fine dome was designed by Brunelleschi, while the soaring
bell tower is by Baccio d'Agnolo (1503). The interior is one of
the finest examples of Renaissance architecture. a Latin cross
with three spacious aisles. The colonnade moves forward in a
succession of light arches supported by 35 elegant Corinthian
columns in pietra serena, forming what is no other than an
internal portico. The ground plan of the 40 semicircular chapels
repeats the semicircular rhythm of the arches.
facade is comprised of three large doors and was made by Salvi
d'Andrea (1483) on Brunelleschi's design. Behind the high altar
is a Crucifix that may be an early work by Michelangelo. In the
right crossing are various important examples of painting: in the
third chapel the "Madonna del Soccorso" by an unknown
15th-century painter; in the fifth chapel, Filippino Lippi's
famous Madonna and Child with Saints. Other fine works are in the
left crossing; in the first chapel a Madonna and Child with
Angels and Saints by Raffaellino del Garbo; in the second, Saint
Monica Establishing the Rule of the Augustinian Nuns by Francesco
Botticini; in the third, a delicate Madonna and Child with Saints
by Cosimo Rosselli and, in the fourth, a marble altar by Andrea
Sansovino. Other important works are also in the apse chapels: in
the first is the Madonna with Saints by Lorenzo di Credi; in the
third the Madonna and Child with Four Saints by Maso di Banco.
Entry to the Vestibule and the Sacristy is near the organ. The
former is by Andrea Sansovino and the latter has a fine octagonal
ground plan by Giuliano da Sangallo and Cronaca (1456).
The vestibule leads to the First Cloister in 17th-century style
with frescoes of the same period. From here to the Second
Cloister, built by Ammannati and frescoed by Poccetti (the
cloister is not at present open to the public since it is
occupied by the recruiting center).
Entry to the nearby Refectory is from the piazza. It contains the
imposing fresco of the Last Supper by Nardo di Cione.