10 Things To Do Near San Lorenzo, Florence

Maria Menegaki

They say that the whole city looks like an open-air museum and they couldn’t be more accurate. Named after the 3rd-century Christian martyr, the neighborhood of San Lorenzo is a sacred destination combining priceless art treasures in a setting of breathtaking architecture. At the same time, it is one of the busiest districts in Florence, crowded by visitors and locals every single day. Here is our guide with the best things to do and see around.

Florence, Italy: Basilica di San Lorenzo

1. Visit the church


Dome - DSC 0020 ep
© Eric Parker/Flickr
Not only one of the largest churches in the city, but also one of the first buildings constructed in the new Renaissance style, the Church of San Lorenzo is located in the heart of the district. Stand for a few moments to admire the harmonious interior before continuing to the rest of the wider monastic complex.

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm

2. Explore the Medici Chapels


The Cappelle Medicee feature prominent tomb sculptures by Michelangelo
© Dmitry Erokhin / Alamy Stock Photo
Constructed as the burial place of the members of the Medici family and designed by Michelangelo, the Medici Chapels form part of the monumental complex of San Lorenzo and is a must-see for every history buff. Enter them through the back of the Church to take a look at the famous tombs made of pietra serena, as well as several paintings of biblical scenes. Explore all of the three distinct parts: the Old Sacristy, the Chapel of the Princess, and the New Sacristy and enjoy their unique historical value and architectural beauty.

3. Stop by the library

Church, Library

Stop by the library

Reach the Laurentian Library through the entrance at the left of the church’s doorway. It was designed by Michelangelo to house Medici’s collection of manuscripts and books emphasizing the new intellectual status of the family. Among the well-known to be found are the Nahuatl Florentine Codex, the Syriac Rabula Gospels, and the Codex Amiatinus. A visit is highly recommended not only due to its historical importance, but also because of its architectural value, being a great example of Mannerism.

Address & telephone number: Piazza San Lorenzo, 9, Florence, +39 0552937911

Apotheosis of the Medici family | © Marie-Lan Nguyen/WikicommonsApotheosis of the Medici family | © Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikicommons

4. Go to the museum


Probably the best way to escape the usual Florentine attractions and get a fascinating insight into the noble life of Medici family, the nearby Museum of Casa Martelli should be on the top of your list if you enjoy interior design as much as art. Spend some time there and walk through rooms filled with a spectacular collection of artworks and decor. Just be aware of the limited opening hours.

Opening hours: Thu 2pm-7pm, Sat 9am-2pm, Sun (I/III/V) 9am-2pm

5. Attend a Medici Dynasty Show


5. Attend a Medici Dynasty Show
© Courtesy of Medici Dynasty

Attend a Medici Dynasty Show

The only English theater in Florence, Medici Dynasty Show honors the memory of this legendary family bringing it back to life in a multimedia masterpiece of info-tainment. Attend one of their shows to travel back in time for an hour with the help of traditional costumes and video projections related to the artistic and architectural masterpieces of the era.
Note: Please see website for time schedule

Address & telephone number: Il Fuligno, via Faenza 42. +39 349 1310441

Attend one of their shows to travel back in time for an hour © Courtesy of Medici Dynasty

6. Walk through the market

Market, Italian

Food Market - Mercato Centrale
© Adam Burt/Flickr
The lively street market of San Lorenzo is an obligatory stop whether you’re looking for cheap, colorful accessories and gifts or not. Set up daily and filled with vendors selling clothes, artwork, and souvenirs, it is definitely the beating heart of the district.

7. Lunch break at Mercato Centrale


Lunch break at Mercato Centrale

Just behind the open-air market of San Lorenzo, a pleasant surprise is located. Enter the large grey and red building that resembles a train station to find the main daily indoor market of the city, Mercato Centrale. Buy some of the delicious, fresh products varying from fruits and vegetables to cheese and meat, enjoy the atmosphere, and take a lunch break on the first floor where you will find several fascinating food stands.

Address: Piazza del Mercato Centrale, Florence

Ground floor: Mon-Sat: 7am-2pm

First floor: Mon-Sun: 10am-12am

La Scuola Cucina Lorenzo Medici | © David Edwards/FlickrLa Scuola Cucina Lorenzo Medici | © David Edwards/Flickr

Take a cooking course

If you are a food lover and want a different experience, Cucina Lorenzo de’ Medici can provide it for you. This cooking school takes place in the Central Market and gives you the unique opportunity to participate in cooking courses held by local chefs, prepare a recipe, get in direct contact with the market’s producers, and learn more about Mediterranean cuisine.

Address & telephone number: Piazza del Mercato Centrale, +39 055 283142


8. Drink a glass of wine

Bar, Wine Bar

Drink a glass of wine

While walking in the area during the evening, you will mostly find quiet streets at first sight. Still, if you need a late afternoon drink, you won’t be diappointed by the variety of nearby bars. Casa del Vino is one of the most well-known places. Stop by the oldest wine bar of Florence and enjoy a glass of excellent Italian wine for some memorable moments.

Address & telephone number: Via dell’Ariento 16/R, Florence, +39 055 215609

Stay safe

Last but not least, since San Lorenzo always gets busy and chaotic, take care of your important stuff while walking through these streets and have fun.

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