The Badia Fiorentina is located right in front of the Bargello in the historical centre of Florence. It is the oldest monastery in the city. It is in this church that Dante met his beloved Beatrice. Highlight is the Chiostro degli Aranci.
Badia Fiorentina Florence
Address, opening hours and admission
Address: Via del Proconsolo – Florence. Telephone: +39 055 264402. Church opening hours: Tuesday to Friday 6:00-19:30; Saturday 7:00-18:45; Sunday 7:00-13:00 and 17:30-19:30. Monastery opening hours: Monday from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Admission: The church is free, the Chiostro degli Aranci costs 3 Euro per person. Disabled people: Due to a number of steps, the church is not accessible to people in wheelchairs.
History and description
The Badia Fiorentina was founded in 978 by the mother of Marquis Ugo di Toscana. In 1285 Arnolfo di Cambio carried out a radical reconstruction, moving the apse to Via del Proconsolo. The striking bell tower was erected between 1310 and 1330.
In the course of the centuries the church experienced alternating periods of blossoming and decay.
The interior was redecorated in the 18th century and is a mix of different styles.
Filippo Lippi painted the “Apparition of the Madonna to Saint Bernard” (1482-1486). It was originally painted for the family chapel of the De Pugliese in the Santa Maria delle Campora Church in Marignolle, a town outside Florence. In 1530 it was brought to the Badia Fiorentina during a siege for security reasons.
Mino da Fiesole made the “Tomb of Bernardo Giugni” (1466-1469). The same sculptor was responsible for the “Tomb of Ugo di Toscana” (1469). The altarpiece above this last monument was made by Vasari.
The cloister of the abbey is called Chiostro degli Aranci because of the orange trees that blossom there. It was built between 1432 and 1438. It was commissioned by the humanist Filippo di ser Ugolino Pieruzzi and designed by Bernardo Rossellino.
The upper floor of the cloister is decorated with frescoes depicting “Events from the life of Saint Benedict”. According to some, they were painted by Giovanni di Consalvo, a Portuguese friend of the abbot at the time, while others believe the artist to have been an anonymous local artist.