Step inside Santa Trinita Church located in Piazza Santa Trinita and enjoy some superb frescoes by Ghirlandaio, the Renaissance painter of the VIPs.

One reason to visit this church could simply be its position. It lies nearby the lovely Santa Trinita Bridge. And it’s the beginning of the super chic Via Tornabuoni. But inside you’ll find an even more compelling reasons: the series of frescoes depicting Saint Francis by Ghirlandaio for the Sassetta Chapel.

trinita

Piazza Santa Trinita is a small square lined with noble buildings. Right in front of Museo Ferragamo (hosted in the Spini-Ferroni palace) there’s a church that could easily go unnoticed.

The late 15th century facade seems serious and sombre, and if you step inside you’ll find the same austere atmosphere. But there are also many small chapels containing art from 15th and 16th century art, including a Della Robbia funerary monument.

What to see in Santa Trinita

SASSETTI CHAPEL Celebration of both Saint Francis and Renaissance Florence in the frescoes by Domenico Ghirlandaio (1483-86)

If you walk to the right transept there’s a fresco that might give you a deja vu. It shows the same square youll have just seen outside: Piazza Santa Trinita. This forms part of a series called “The Life of Saint Francis” by Ghirlandaio, a master of Florentine Renaissance much loved for the elegance of his work. His religious-themed frescoes are well-known for depicting scenes of contemporary daily life and often featured famous Florentines.

In this scene you can see Santa Trinita Square as it was in his time (second half of 1400), with a young boy sitting at prayer on a bed and Saint Francis who has just resurrected him. This was supposed to be one of his posthumous miracles, after the boy fell from the top of Palazzo Spini.

St. Francis cycle - Sassetti Chapel - by Ghirlandaio

St. Francis cycle – Sassetti Chapel – by Ghirlandaio

You can spot members of the Sassetti family that commissioned the chapel and a self-portrait of Ghirlandaio himself. He’s on the right hand side with his hand on his waist. It’s interesting to see the clothing, a very accurate representation of the way Florentines dressed at the time. In another scene you can make out Piazza Signoria and the Loggia dei Lanzi. There are no statues though, those were in fact added later. In this scene Lorenzo il Magnifico and his sons climb the steps with their tutors, led by humanist scholar Poliziano.

The altar painting is also by Ghirlandaio, and he makes a personal appearance here too – he’s the first dark-haired shepherd. If you enjoy Ghirlandaio’s style, you can see more of his frescoes in the Santa Maria Novella Church.

Sassetti Chapel, detail - by Ghirlandaio

Sassetti Chapel, detail – by Ghirlandaio

BENOZZO FEDERIGHI FUNERARY MONUMENT A great example of Della Robbia work.

Benozzo Federighi was Bishop of Fiesole who died in 1450. The monument was created by Luca della Robbia in 1454. The monument’s frame is made of majolica using the “opus sectile” technique, where every oval is made of small tiles that create a mosaic.

Benozzo Gozzoli's tomb - by Luca Della Robbia

Benozzo Gozzoli’s tomb – by Luca Della Robbia