The San Silvestro Church in Pisa was founded in the early 12th century by the Benedictine Order. Since the church has not served as such since the end of the 18th century, most of the artworks have been transferred to the San Matteo Museum.
San Silvestro Church Pisa
Adrdress, opening times and admission
Address: Piazza San Silvestro – Pisa. Telephone: +39 050 926511. Opening hours: Unknown. Entrance fee: Free . (Note: Due to the Covid crisis, opening hours may differ from what is indicated here).
History and description
The foundation of the Chiesa di San Silvestro took place around 1118. In the 14th century this church was run by the Dominican nuns.
Giuseppe Vaccà (execution) and Anton Francesco Quarantotti (design) completely renovated the façade in the 18th century. On this occasion, the sculpted architrave depicting “Events from the Life of Constantine and San Silvestro” was removed. It is now on display in the San Matteo Museum.
Toward the end of the 18th century, the church was deconsacratred and turned into a conservatory for aristocratic young ladies. Later the building served, a.o., as a prison and student residence.
The apse has retained its medieval appearance, with blind arches and an arched frieze. However, the original ceramic decorations have been replaced with copies. The originals were also transferred to the San Matteo Museum.
The two statues adorning the roof depict San Silvestro (left) and San Domenico. The sculptor was Giovanni Antonio Cybei.
The wooden ceiling decorated with gilded inlay was made by Cosimo Pugliani.
The interior is further graced by paintings by Aurelio Lomi (1556-1624). This painter, who was born and also died in Pisa itself, worked mainly in and around his native city.
A painting depicting “Santa Caterina”, which, according to tradition, was found floating in the Arno in 1235 by the prior of the church, has also been transferred to the San Matteo Museum.