Santi Apostoli church and Easter in Florence
Because of the approaching Easter, I would like to talk, about a very suggestive place of Florence: the small church of Santi Apostoli that is unknown to the majority of the tourists because it is off the beaten paths.
Half-way of Borgo Santi Apostoli, in the heart of the medieval Florence, surrounded by tower-houses and historic buildings there is the Piazzetta del Limbo with the Church of Santi Apostoli.
The square was called this way because next to the church there was a graveyard for children who had died without been baptized and so had to go to limbo.
According to legend the church was founded by the will of Charlemagne. This is witnessed by a plaque on the façade and a marble bas-relief portraying the Frankish king. There are no documents that can prove this, what is certain however, is its Romanesque look.
Beautiful is the roof trusses with polychrome decorations, perfectly restored in 1900 and the marble columns that have certainly inspired young Filippo Brunelleschi for the construction of the churches of San Lorenzo and Santo Spirito in the Renaissance.
This hidden gem knows a period of notoriety in the Easter week.
Once you go inside, immediately on the right, there is a chapel with the “Stones of the Holy Sepulchre.” Pazzino de’ Pazzi was the first crusader to be able to put, in 1099, the crusader’s flag on the walls of the liberated Jerusalem. So he obtained the right to have (by Godfrey of Bouillon) three stones of the Holy Sepulchre of Jesus that he took with him to Florence.
Since then the Stones were considered very important by the people, revered and still used nowadays to begin the famous Florentine celebration of the “Explosion of the Cart.”
The ignition of the Holy Fire ceremony takes place on Sunday morning when the Bishop comes here from the Cathedral to lit the paschal candle. The “holy fire” is then taken in procession back to the Duomo and then used during the Gloria to lit the “colombina” that will explode the cart.
Take advantage of this millenarian tradition to visit this historical and highly suggestive site.
Open: 10:00 to 12:00, 15:30 to 19:00