The rain was still coming down in Florence when we arrived at the San Lorenzo Church, better known as the Basilica di San Lorenzo. This was the parish church of Florence’s ruling Medici family and it is probably best known for its unfinished exterior facade, which is the result of the church’s construction fund running out of money. Renaissance artist Michelangelo submitted a design for the facade in the 1500s and there’s been talk over the years of using it to finally finish the church but as of right now no action has been taken. We quickly looked around the church’s cloister and then went inside the church itself. Unlike the outer facade, the church’s interior is completely finished and we spent some time in it looking around and drying off. I particularly like the color and lighting of parts of San Lorenzo—the area around the high altar has something like a slight blueish tint. San Lorenzo doesn’t get as many visitors as the duomo and it can be a good place to visit if you’re feeling overwhelmed by Florence’s crowds. As an interesting side note, San Lorenzo might be the oldest church in Florence. The original church—which was demolished to construct the current version—was consecrated in 393 and San Lorenzo was also Florence’s cathedral until the seat of the bishop was transferred to Santa Reparata, a church that is now underneath the duomo.
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