Florence Hotel Guelfa · Surroundings · San Lorenzo Square
Piazza San Lorenzo, with its lively market, is named after the Basilica of the same name. The entrance to the cloisters and to the Biblioteca Mediceo Laurenziana, designed by Michelangelo, opens onto the square. On the right there is the statue of Giovanni delle Bande Nere, the father of Cosimo I. The statue was made by Bandinelli. On the east side, the back of Palazzo Medici Riccardi can be seen, built on a long, protruding base which is used as a bench to rest and to admire the surrounding buildings.
The Basilica di San Lorenzo is one of the city's most important churches. It was completely rebuilt in 1419 based on a design drawn up by Filippo Brunelleschi. This is one of his more typical works, with a light interior, a nave and two aisles. The façade of the church, however, was never completed: Pope Leo X commissioned Michelangelo to create a façade in 1518. The artist made a wood model of a classical façade, but the work was never done. The small bell tower, however, dates back to 1740.
Michelangelo's Sacrestia Nuova (New Sacristy) was added in 1520-1534, while the large dome of the Cappella dei Principi (Chapel of the Princes) was constructed at the end of the fifteen hundreds to house the tomb of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany.
The San Lorenzo Market is certainly worth visiting. The lively market is situated around the Basilica di San Lorenzo and at the Mercato Centrale. It winds along Via dell'Ariento, Piazza San Lorenzo, Via del Canto de' Nelli, Via Sant'Antonino, Via Panicale, and into Piazza del Mercato Centrale. It can be considered the most important market of the city and is held every day except Sunday and Monday. The market sells clothes and many leather goods, as well as souvenirs and gifts for those who wish to take home a memento of their visit to Florence.