This little church, Santa Maria della Spina, is one of the most beautiful gothic churches in Italy. It was built for the first time in 1230. However, in order to prevent possible floodings of the river Arno, it was rebuilt in 1871 in a higher position.
Its name refers to the Jesus's Crown of Thorn once enshrined in the church.
The exterior part is faced with polychrome marble panels and is decorated with statues, arches, rose windows and sculptures, while the inside is more austere. Due to its modest dimention, the church has only one nave. The interior decorations are mostly works of important local artists of that period, such as Andrea and his sons Giovanni di Balduccio and Lupo di Francesco.
Address: lungarno Gambacorti
How to get: Bus: 2, 5 and 14, "green lam"
March-October: from Tuesday to Sunday 10.00 am -2.00 pm
April-September: from Tuesday to Friday; 10.00 am-2.00 pm and 3.00-6.00 pm/ Saturday and Sunday 10.00 am 2.00 pm e 3.00-7.00 pm.
Closed on Monday
Ticket: full-fare € 2,00; reduced (min. 15 people per group) € 1,00.
CHURCH OF SAINT STEPHEN OF THE KNIGHTS
This church, which was dedicated to Knights, was built where the old Saint Sebastian Church once stood.
The main project is designed by Vasari, while the Carrara marble façade by Cosimo's stepson, Giovanni de'Medici.
Always of Vasari is the bell tower next to the church.
Signs of the Order can be found not only on the facade with the emblem of Saint Stefan's Knights, but also on the interior walls and in the counterfacade with the turkish flags, the booty from sea battles and shipwrecks.
Among the pieces of art inside we mention:
Stories of Saint Stephen Pope and martyr
Wood carving and golden boards on the cealing representing: The Dressing of Cosimo I de'Medici by Ludovico Cardi, The Return of the Navy from the Battle of Lepanto by Jacopo Ligozzi, The Boarding of Maria de' Medici in Livorno by Cristofano Allori, The Victory in the Greak archipelago by Jacopo Chimenti called Empoli and the Conquest of the city of Prevesa, again by Ligozzi.
The marble stounts and the pulpit by Giuseppe Fancelli
The painting: “The stoning of Saint Stephen” by Giorgio Vasari
The “Nativity of Jesus Christ” by Bronzino
Opening: from Monday to Saturday, 10.00 am-7.00 pm / Sunday 1.00 pm-7.30 pm
Ticket: € 1,50
THE HOLY SEPULCHRE CHURCH
The Holy Sepulchre Church dates back to 1138. It was designed by Diotisalvi, who worked as well at the Baptistery. The name of the church was inspired by the Crusade of the archbishop of Pisa Daiberto.
The octagonal structure of the building reproduces the map of Jerusalem Holy Sites. The exterior design reminds the structure of what was once supposed to be the Temple of Salomon, that is the Omar's Mosque. The interior layout reproduces the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem with eight pillars, from which just as many equidistant arches depart and end with a dome-shaped pyramid at the top.
Inside the church a picture of" Madonna with Child" of the XV century and the schrine of Saint Ubaldesca are worth a visit.
Address:Santo Sepolcro square, Lungarno Galileo Galilei
How to get: Bus 2, 5 and 14, "green lam"
SAN FRANCESCO DE'FERRI CHURCH
The Church of San Francesco, built in the 13th century but enlarged and finished between the 16th and 17th century, had a difficult past: in 1846 an earthquake provoked the collapse of the roof and in 1861 the church was deconsacrated to be turned into military warehouse. It was restored as church only in 1901.
Inside we can find one big nave with six seren stone altars placed along the walls. Remarkable works are also the frescos of the 13th century into the Sardi-Campiglia Chapel and in the chapter house, and the marble polyptyc by Tommaso Pisano above the High Altar.
Inside there are also the tombs of Conte Ugolino della Gherardesca and of his four children and grandchildren, characters from the 33rd canto of Inferno Dantis . of/p>
Address: San Francesco square
How to get: Bus 2 and 22, "Green Lam"
SAN MICHELE IN BORGO CHURCH
San Michele in Borgo Church was built between the 10th and 11th century on the remnants of a temple dedicated to Mars, however it was modified several times, especially after the bombing in 1943-44 that destroyed it almost entirely, except the facade and the apsis.
The facade is one the clearest example of the transition from Romanesque into Gothic arquitecture. It is divided into two parts: the lowest has three Pisan-Romanesque portals of the 13th century, while the higher one, which has a rose window and three orders of arches, was designed in gothic style in the 14th century.
On the facade there are words of the 16th remembering the election of the dean of the University.
The interior part is composed of three large naves where there are some frescos of the 13th and a marble crucifix by Nicola Pisano.
Address: Borgo Stretto
How to get:Bus 4, "red lam"
CHURCH OF SANTA CATERINA D'ALESSANDRIA
This church is one of the most ancient of the city. Indeed it is quoted in some documents of 1211. During the centuries it has been modified several times, especially in 1651 after the explosion of a fire that destroyed the greater part of the church.The present facade is decorated with white and grey marble pieces, loggias and a big central rose window.
The interior has a Latin cross plan with one big nave. Noteworthy are also the major altar, the wood pulpit on the right wall, the monument from which Tommaso d'Aquino preached, a memorial to Gherardo di Bartolomeo and one to the archbishop Simone Saltarelli on the left wall, sculpted by Andrea Pisano.
Address: Santa Caterina square, 5
How to get: Bus 4