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“Really only interesting for the attached Brancacci Chapel” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Santa Maria del Carmine

Santa Maria del Carmine
Piazza del Carmine, 50124 Florence, Italy
+39 055 238 2195
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Ranked #139 of 415 things to do in Florence
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Attraction details
Owner description: An elegant church decorated by Masaccio's famous frescoes on the life of St. Peter.
Florence, Italy
Top Contributor
129 reviews 129 reviews
76 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
107 helpful votes 107 helpful votes
“Really only interesting for the attached Brancacci Chapel”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2012

This Church is a church built for the people - with accompanying convent, hospital and old people sanctuary - unlike neighbouring Santa Spirito, which was built purely as a place of worship for the rich people of the area. It is interesting as the Monastery that took in the 8 year old orphaned Fillipo Lippi where the other Monks had the sense to put this troublesome child to work with a paintbrush!!
It has been rebuilt and re-painted in 1782 following a terrible fire in 1771, which destroyed most of the church but almost miraculously the Brancacci frescoes in the separate little chapel were preserved. There is some remarkable trompe d'oile on the ceiling which can keep you guessing which is real and which painted for a while, but otherwise a bit too busy with Baroche and Rococco for my personal taste. The outside of the Church probably looks much the same as it did when it was founded in the 13th Century - no marble fascia - no decoration -and fortunately I do love it for that as I live opposite it!

Visited August 2012
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New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“An unmissable chapel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012

The gorgeous, colorful frescoes fill the Branacci side chapel from floor to ceiling and are both beautiful in and of themselves and an important breakthrough in Renaissance art. If you'd be interested in some background on the art and history of the place, bring along a Blue Guide or read up on Renaissance art a little beforehand -- it's worth it to really appreciate these images so you know what kinds of details and interesting symbols to look for.
You can walk into the church itself for free (which is a nice cool break on a warm day), but you'll have to pay a small fee and go around to the side entrance to get near the Branacci chapel. They have a movie that shows every hour or so that is definitely miss-able (although its cheesy computer graphics are pretty hilarious).

Visited July 2012
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Okemos, MI
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“Beautiful and under-visited”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2012

I was surprised at how few people were here. The Brancacci Chapel draws many visitors because of the famous Giotto paintings of St. Peter, but compared to other churches in the city, it seemed empty. Which made for a lovely, spiritual, contemplative experience. The baroque architecture is quietly spectacular and I was glad I spent time here.

Visited June 2012
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Hong Kong, China
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3,406 reviews 3,406 reviews
2,082 attraction reviews
Reviews in 144 cities Reviews in 144 cities
8,803 helpful votes 8,803 helpful votes
“Very nice church, excellent Brancacci Chapel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2012

We visited the Santa Maria delle Carmine (free) in the Oltrarno, mostly to see the Brancacci Chapel (Euro 4.00) and were quite pleased with what we saw within this church and enjoyed it more than many of the churches we have visited in Florence. The highlight of your visit to this church is to see the Brancacci Chapel, but don't pass up the chance to step into the rest of the church, which is also very beautiful.

What we liked about the Santa Maria delle Carmine was the long, beautifully painted ceiling fresco that spanned the length of the church hall. Also, we enjoyed the Corsini Chapel, the decorations around the choir area near the alter and the Nerli Chapel.

However, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the star of the Santa Maria delle Carmine is the wonderful Brancacci Chapel, which you have to enter from another door on the side of the the church pay an entrance fee to see. This chapel is so good that even the masters like Michelangelo, came here to study and learn from it. When you see, you'll understand why!

In addition to visiting this church, you can also see the church and piazza for Santo Spirito, less than 5 minutes walk in the direction of the Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens, which are also very good attractions on the Oltrarno side of the city. We suggest combining the church attractions along with a visit to either the Pitti Palace or the Boboli Gardens for a 1/2 of even full day in the Oltrarno during your trip to Florence.

Visited February 2012
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Florence, Italy
Top Contributor
121 reviews 121 reviews
58 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“amazing frescoes”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2012

Famous frescoes by Massacio in Brancacci Chapels (later finished by Fillipino Lippi)

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