Santi Apostoli: A Small Church with a Big Heart

March 29th 2011 by Katie

A place of solace where the city passing by in a hurry. You are left in peace in this caring space.


Credits: Panoramio



Santi Apostoli Church is one of my sacred places in the city. Whenever I feel lost or am in need of some guidance I enter this quiet space. I was introduced to Santi Apostoli in 2002 when I was a student. I wasn’t able to enter the church at that time with my art and architecture teacher, Vera, because it was closed. So I made a promise to myself that when I came back the next time to Florence, I would see why Vera adored this church so much. As it was like a secret treasure that only i knew about, was waiting to be uncovered. I call this church my place of solitude and calm contemplation.


Credits: Flickr


As it is located near the Ponte Vecchio, a small amount of people enter Piazza del Limbo. Legend has it that there is a cemetery underneath the cobblestones where babies were buried. The babies died before they were baptized. Hence the name of the piazza, Limbo. Built in the 11th century, Santi Apostoli is one of the oldest churches in Florence. Perhaps built by Charlemagne in the year 800 A.D., as the plaque near the door states, the style is of the Romanesque period and the main doors are from the 14th century. During the flood of 1966 Santi Apostoli was completely under water. Many of the interior such as the frescoes were damaged beyond repair and others are still being restored.

Credits: Wikimedia


Santi Apostoli Church really brings life here to a calming stop. You can't hear the taxi speeding down Borgo SS. Apostoli, nor tours marching along the streets, you hear absolutely nothing. I never pass up a chance to visit my church. It lies in the middle of the city and yet when you step inside, you enter a peaceful universe. It is more than tempting it is enticing.

It is a rare experience when you visit Santi Apostoli, there is so much history and so much soul still embedded in its walls.

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  1. [...] is now the Biblioteca di Palagio di Parte Guelfa. In 1785, the Holy Sepulcher stones were moved to Santi Apostoli where they are still held to this day.  The cart was brought to private homes as well to light the [...]

  2. Laura Thayer says:

    Ciao Katie! I loved seeing your favorite church in Florence when I was there last May. Much like your experience with your teacher, once you showed me the church and your feelings for it, I had to make my way back there later to see it for myself. Beautiful!

  3. Katie says:

    Thanks Laura! I am glad you enjoyed visiting it! :) a presto!

  4. [...] has no works by the famous patron but it has an interesting collection of works of art from the churches of the region. There is also the house of Benvenuto Cellini which he lived in from 1559-71. It is used by a [...]

  5. [...] of offerings of bread, wheat, eggs, flowers, candles and lights in each of the city’s churches. The tradition requires that you visit an odd number of churches. People willingly wait up to an [...]

  6. [...] St. Nicholas’ marble tomb and pilfered his bones. Back in Bari, the merchants built a special church, in 1089, to house the saint’s relics and the names of the sailors who helped in the theft were [...]

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