|A theme itinerary: Michelangelo’s Florence
A walk for two days
San Lorenzo Church
The Medici family has enriched this beautiful, monumental church since 1300 because it was the nearest church to the family palace, located just at the west corner of the same square.
Before entering the church, let’s take the door on the left to reach the cloister and the Medicean-Laurentian Library. This library was created to contain the rare book collection of Lorenzo the Magnificent and it was totally designed by Michelangelo. There is a large and charming reading hall, very bright and with a beautiful use of perspective on the walls, thanks to the many frames. But the most famous sight here is in the room before, the staircase, where there is the real link between the Renaissance and the Baroque styles, a couple of decades before the baroque was going to invade all Europe. As a matter of fact the side stairs have straight lines typical of Renaissance, but the central steps have an elliptical shape, like an imaginary rock flow. This kind of curve is an innovation by Michelangelo and we will see it again on the Medici’s tombs and on the Santa Trinita Bridge spans.
Let us now enter inside the church: the Michelangelo’s works cannot be reached from here, but a visit to the main building is necessary to understand the whole complex. Among the many original masterworks displayed here (like the Donatello’s Pulpits or the big Bronzino’s fresco in the Mannerist style, inspired to Michelangelo’s frescoes), we will especially focus on the Sacrestia Vecchia by Brunelleschi, Donatello and Luca Della Robbia (built around 1420), called the old sacristy, versus the new sacristy made by Michelangelo.