The church of San Lorenzo (Basilica di San Lorenzo) is my '6th place' attraction in Florence.
Boy is the facade of this church ugly ! BUT don't let that deter you as whilst that initial view of the imposing church exterior is unlikely to provoke you into entering, along with the advantage of this being one of several places you can visit on a Monday it is also a perfect destination if the weather is inclement as everything of interest is under cover and quite beautiful. So ignore initial impressions and make your way inside this gargantuan structure....
I am compiling an extensive Trip Advisor 'Trip List' for my recent 6 full-day visit to see the sights of Florence. Please fell free to access it via my TA Profile - I hope it is of interest and use to you and I hope all of my individual reviews/photos get posted properly as I know from past experience that the Trip Advisor submission process sometimes, incorrectly, 'blocks' them despite me being a so-called 'Senior Contributor'.....
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Just before covering my personal views of the church, please note that as official information sources can change and the Internet links at the top of each attraction webpage on Trip Advisor can be wrong (or even absent !) I deal with visitor information/ticketing etc in the dedicated section for the attraction in my TA Trip List. This is because I have sole-control over that, can add Internet links and can edit/update it with ease to reflect changes (reviews cannot be amended after they're posted). It might also contain photos/video links if they fail to get posted with this review or on this webpage....
Firstly, it's worth mentioning that like many attractions photography is banned in toto, which explains why you won't see many unofficial pictures of the sumptuous interior.
Also, there is another adjoining extra-cost attraction (which I didn't visit), namely 'The Medici Chapels' - but be warned, the opening times differ from that of the church !
The interior of the church is quite magnificent, with beautifully painting-adorned naves 'hidden' behind massive columns. Again, like most attractions in Florence, you must remember to look up as the ceiling is also attractively decorated.
The inaccessible 'twin' pulpits (at least I think that what they are) are interesting and quite unusual - I thought they were wonderfully carved coffins on pedestals...!
However, the highlight of the church interior is the Old Sacristy which is stunning, along with an ornately decorated cupola which is also not to be missed.
As I mentioned earlier, things outside are no much to write home about but the cloister area is pleasant enough.
Finally, note that the church entrance ticket gets you into a small crypt area, halfway around the cloister, which contained 'treasure' and some tombs. I thought this area related to the Medici chapels, but you won't find me complaining about this added 'bonus'.
This church is well worth visiting and is much, much more interesting to walk around inside than some other more popular churches in Florence eg Santa Maria Novella. If I could, I would have rated the church with an extra half star, but as it is it gets 3....
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