Santo Spirito

8x10 print

Printed with archival inks on

100% Cotton Rag Photo Paper


Piazza Santo Spirito is tucked into the Oltrarno, at the heart of Florence’s artisan district. It’s a generously-

sized square, but the presence of trees (unusual in the city) and a splashing fountain—along with a busy daily market and plenty of restaurant & café patios—make for an intimate, welcoming atmosphere. And at the north end sits one of my favorite churches, with a curvy façade concealing a beautiful Renaissance interior by Brunelleschi (architect of Florence’s Cupola).

I shot this photo during an afternoon respite from the November rain. I love the effect of the wet paving stones spread out before the church, and the dated cars flanking each side (at the opposite end of Ferraris and Lamborghinis are these much more common, no-nonsense vehicles). To the left of the church is the former refectory—all that remains of the original monastery. It’s now a museum featuring a collection of sculpture assembled by art collector Salvatore Romano.

Santo Spirito is printed on 100% cotton, museum-grade paper. The image itself measures 8 x 10 inches (20.1 x 25.4 cm). The print is titled & signed on the back, and packaged in a clear archival sleeve. (Click on the image for a larger view; please note that the images you see on the site are saved at a low resolution for the web, but they are of course printed at high resolution.)

Please click HERE if you’d like to read excerpts about Piazza Santo Spirito and see more photos.

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24 - Santo Spirito - 8 x 10 Print

In her Italian Days, Barbara Grizzuti Harrison wrote how the façade’s ‘starkness would seem to invite the mischievousness of graffiti; it’s a kind of miracle that this natural slate has not been scrawled upon, a miracle that stems from its incorruptible beauty.’ I have often wondered what the solution to finishing Santo Spirito’s façade should be; it’s difficult to visualize an alternative when it has remained bare for so many centuries (save for the painted architectural details from the eighteenth century, which have long since been obscured). Better to follow a historic design or let it reflect our culture today? I feel that Santo Spirito’s ideal form is così—like it  is—continuing to be one of those topics that provokes an ongoing dialogue among the locals and visitors.”

~ From the Piazza Santo Spirito chapter of

The Piazzas of Florence

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