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The Chiesa di Santa Trinità (Church of the Holy Trinity) is located in Piazza Trinità, to the north of the Arno River, turning the corner of Via de’ Tornabuoni.

The Church is one of the most ancient Florentine churches and has always played a main role in the social, political and, obviously, in the religious life of the capital city of Tuscany.
Its architectonical external and internal features have at all times aroused the admiration of celebrated artists. Just for instance, Michelangelo referred to it as: “La bella Dama” (the beautiful Lady). Fortunately, the Church has not a great influx of tourists. Nevertheless, it is an unavoidable meeting for the lovers of Mannerist, Gothic and Romanesque architecture. Its exquisite indoors hosts, among other famous Tuscan artists, amazing art works by Lorenzo Monaco and Domenico Ghirlandaio.

The Church faces to the splendid Palazzo Bartolini Salimbeni which was projected and built, between 1517 and 1520, by Agnolo di Baccio.
In the centre of the fine-looking and interesting square of Santa Trinità there is the imposing “Column of Justice”, a Roman masterpiece coming from the Terms of Caracalla, which was granted to the Grand Duke of Tuscany, by Pope Pius IV (Giovanni Angelo Medici). Other relevant sculpture located in the square is the statue of the “Justice”, in porphyry, created by Il Tadda (by name of Romolo di Francesco Ferrucci, 1555-1621) and was there placed to commemorate the defeat of Sienna’s army at the Battle of Marciano (1554).

It is believed that the Chiesa di Santa Trinità was built on the vestiges of a church from the 9th century. In the second half of the 11th century the Vallombrosian monks started its construction in Romanesque style with the patronage of several prosperous Florentine families. In the following centuries it was remodelled various times. In the 14th century it was modernized in Gothic style. Some remnants of the former Romanesque building are perceptible on the interior front wall, under the existing floor and in the crypt. The Romanesque floor mosaics are currently hosted in the Bargello Museum. The refined present façade was designed by the Florentine mannerist architect Bernardo Buontalenti (1536 ca-1608).
The ground plant is shaped by an Egyptian cross nave and two transepts surrounded by beautiful chapels. Two of them are considered between the most refined chapels from the 15th century: The Sassetti Chapel and the Bartolini Salimbeni Chapel.
Over the High Altar once was placed a masterpiece by Cimabue: “The Madonna of the Holy Trinity” (1280 ca.). Since 1919 the outstanding panel is housed in the Uffizi Gallery.
The Sassetti Chapel, the second one to the choir, was patronized by the Florentine banker Francesco Sassetti. He commissioned its construction to the Late Renaissance celebrated architect, engineer and sculptor Giuliano da Sangalo. The decoration of the walls was entrusted to the brilliant artist Domenico Ghirlandaio. The creation of the Chapel underwent from 1480 ca. to 1485. Ghirlandaio frescoed the walls with a cycle representing some episodes of the life of S. Francesco di Assisi. The episodes are: “The Renunciation of Worldly Goods” and the “The Stigmata of S. Francesco” (left wall); “The Test of Fire before the Sultan” (a teamwork by Domenico Ghirlandaio and his brother Andrea) and “The Funeral Rites of S. Francesco” (right wall); “S. Francesco receiving the Order from Pope Honorius” and “The Resurrection of a boy” (depicting a miracle worked by the saint in Piazza Trinità) are located on the back wall over the altar. The altar is crowned by the altarpiece “The Adoration of the Shepherds”, a Domenico Ghirlandaio’s masterpiece.
The beautiful sarcophagus placed into the walls of the Chapel host the mortal remains of Francesco Sassetti and his wife, the noblewoman Nera Corsi.
The Bartolini Salimbeni Chapel is the fourth one on the right. The walls were ornamented by the celebrated Tuscan Gothic painter Lorenzo Monaco (1370 ca -1425) representing Saints, Prophets and some episodes of the life of the Holy Virgin, as well as his famous altarpiece: “The Annunciation”. Those art works were created in the last years of his life, between 1420 and 1425.
On the wall located in the right transept (crucero) there is another manifestation of the extraordinary talent of Domenico Ghirlandaio. He frescoed the wall above the doors of the Chapels there located with scenes representing David and “The Sybil foretelling the Emperor August the birth of Jesus”.
In the right transept there is a beautiful chapel known as “The Cross of San Giovanni Gualberto” according to the subject of a medieval legend about an experience of the life of the Tuscan saint. On the Altar there is a crystal reliquary which keeps a small section of the column where Jesus was bint for being flagellated.
The first chapel to the left is called the Chapel of S. Peter, and is entirely ornamented in Baroque style. It houses some paintings depicting episodes related to S. Peter’, like: “Jesus walks over the sea waters to save Peter” and “S. Peter holds the keys of the Paradise”. The chapel hosts a beautiful bronze representing Jesus Christ by the Tuscan sculptor Felice di Palma (1583-1625).
The next chapel houses “The Cut Off of a Saint’s Head” and “The Flagellation of S. Bartholomew” by the Florentine painter Giovanni dal Ponte (by name of Giovanni di Marco, 1385-1438). To the left there is the outstanding sepulchre of the Bishop Benozzo Federighi, a masterpiece by Luca Della Robbia (1400 ca -1482).
Looking towards the front of the Church, the first chapel on the right hosts a beautiful sculputure devoted to S. Mary Magdalene (1464 ca.), started by Desiderio da Settignano and ultimate by the most famous Benedetto da Maiano.
The Chapel of S. Caterina da Siena is located two chapels after the above mentioned chapel. Its walls were frescoed by the Florentine painter Neri di Bicci (1419 ca- 1481) representing some episodes of S. Caterina’s life and his celebrated “Annunciation”.
The Sacristy hosts numerous fine frescoes from the early 14th century. They were widespread on the walls of the Church and were occulted under a thick coat of white paint, probably proceeding from the late 17th century. Highly likely, it was ordered by some particularly rigorous clergy of this Church. The frescoes were discovered during the restoration of the Church because of the tremendous Florence flood of November 1966. After being restored, the frescoes were removed into the Sacristy. Among them, there is the beautiful “Noli me Tangere” by Puccio Capanna (? – Assisi, 1348) as well as a “Pietà” and a “Crucifixion”, both of them attributed to some Giotto’s follower.

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