San Michele in Foro

San Michele in Foro, Lucca

San Michele in Foro
4.5
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
1,439 reviews
Excellent
764
Very good
569
Average
98
Poor
4
Terrible
4

G.B.
871 contributions
It is worth visiting this church even just for the outside, with its four orders of loggias and the statue of San Michele on the top. There are many legends about this place (such as the fact that there is an emerald in the statue of St. Michael and that sometimes you can see it shining at night, or the stories about the faces in the columns). Definitely recommended.
Written November 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Stay720364
48 contributions
The Duomo is very fine, but for my money it's out-done by the facade of San Michele in Foro, whose tiers of arcaded columns are twisted, each column unique; three main storeys and then a facade of two more, so that it really towers, with the camapanile much less dominant at the far end, providing harmonious balance. The facade is topped by a huge central winged St Michael the Archangel slaying the dragon with one hand and holding an orb aloft in the other, with other angels at either end. Arches within arches, all ornate, and the gleaming white marble facade is intricately decorated at all levels with mosaics of animals. The sides also have engaged columns below and arcaded columsn above This may be the most extraordinary church facade in Italy and I wished I'd brought my binoculars. Inside very plain!
By the way, for really enormous facade mosaics, San Frediano's 13th Century mosaic of The Ascension is well worth a visit, plus, it's at an access point to the walk atop the city walls.
Written February 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

FLnurseER
Boca Raton, FL2,562 contributions
Couples
With its intricate façade and numerous artists this church is dedicated to the Archangel Michael. His 4 m tall statue, flanked by two other angels, can be easily observed from the ground. The interior of the church is not as richly decorated as other churches in Tuscany, however it is still interesting to see.
Written September 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MphsQueen
Belfast, UK295 contributions
The outside of the church is STUNNING - the front entrance wall, with all its detail is a sight to behold!!

The inside looks like most other churches of the era, but an oddity is at its core. There, on full display, is a mummified saint in a glass case! his hand is raised in blessing, but poor thing, he's missing a few fingers.

It creeped me out but fascinated the kids - ages 5 and 8. They still talk about the weird mummy in the old church!!
Written August 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Asiyah Noemi K
Pula, Croatia4,675 contributions
Beautiful church, a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture. The name of the church of San Michele is completed by the name of the place where it was built: the forum, the first center of public life in ancient times and then the throbbing heart of the Communal city. On this square stood the Palatium Civitatis, the Public Palace, which was built right next to the church but then disappeared, being transferred to the Augusta Fortress. Until 1370 it was the seat of the Consiglio Maggiore, the most important assembly of the commune. The church is dedicated to Archangel Michael. Around the church is a beautiful large square Piazza San Michele with historical sights. Famous architects worked at Lucca In the San Michele site between the 13th and 14th centuries and, probably, although this can be deduced only from the style of decoration of the façade, also Diotisalvi, who built the Baptistery of Pisa. The original intent of the project was to raise the church, but it was possible to create only the façade, which is very high and is visible today like a piece of scenery standing out against the sky. It was in this period that the characteristic "loggette" (small loggias) were created by the school of Guidetto da Como, who also worked on the Duomo of San Martino. They are decorated with the use of multi-colored marbles, which begin to suggest the Gothic and are obviously influenced by the Lombard style. Finally, at the highest point, the large statue of the Archangel St Michael killing the Dragon was added, with metal wings. For the attentive observer a glance is enough, better with binoculars if we wish to see the details, to see some of the best known personages of the Risorgimento appear among the figures decorating the arches: Camillo Benso, Vittorio Emanuele and Giuseppe Garibaldi, inserted among the loggette by Giuseppe Pardini, during the last restoration of the church, as if to celebrate the long history of Lucca in the façade. The inside of San Michele is no less interesting, it houses a splendid "Madonna with child" by Andrea della Robbia and a panel by Filippino Lippi portraying the Four Saints.
Written December 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

bruno l
Singapore, Singapore746 contributions
You must go and admire San Michele
Both inside and outside are quite impressive.
You will notice that external sides of the church are totally different. And at night you may go back and stare at the statue of St Michel on the very top, and try to see the reflection of his huge diamond ring :)
Written October 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

david_marshall30
Lucca, Italy102 contributions
Beautiful church, in black and white stonework outside. Free entry , there is a great Fra Lippi painting inside of the four local saints. Well worth a visit, especially in summer to escape the heat.
Written February 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

kwagmeister
Newburgh, IN1,493 contributions
Couples
This beautiful church dates back to the 8th century, with the crypt added in the 11th century and other work completed in the 13th century. The marble is stunning and the exterior elements are beautiful. Inside the space has three distinct naves and chapels with ornate frescoes and statues. What a wonderfully preserved piece of Tuscan history.
Saint Michel (in Hebrew the ‘one who is like God’) represents the struggle between good and evil, which every human is called upon to fight. A statue of St. Michel killing the dragon (or overcoming evil) highlights this struggle. The church was dedicated to him. Buried in the church is San Davino Armeno, who in the 11th century gave all his worldly goods to the poor in order to make pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Miracles attributed to him led to his being moved from the church cemetery to inside the church - and every June 3rd his remains are taken from underneath the main altar and exhibited to the faithful who make a special trip to the church to honor him.
There is no admission fee to enter the church but photographs are not permitted. Written explanations in several languages are available near the entrance - an offering is encouraged.
Written July 19, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Michael R
Phoenix, AZ306 contributions
There is no admission charge for this cathedral rising above where the Roman forum was and at a crossroads of trade and pilgrimages. I thought the outside had many interesting features, and the inside, as noted by others, is relatively plain compared to others in Italy (and even in Lucca). The angel statue on the front top facade has moveable wings (ostensibly to flex in the wind) and we were also told that in the ancient past, the priests would either pull on a rope to make the wings move, or would climb up behind it on the visible stairs and move the wings, presumably to the astonishment of the parishioners below (maybe an art historian or historian/architect would know the truth). It's easy to access and wander around inside. And worth visiting as a major site in Lucca
Written December 21, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

jock16
West Sussex, UK249 contributions
The facade, completed in 1383 is awe inspiring and can be viewed at leisure from one of the cafes in the square. The interior is restrained in its simplicity with statuary ranging from the 14th to the 18th century. The church also boasts a work by Filippino Lippi. In a way I found it more impressive than the cathedral
Written December 2, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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