Church of San Lorenzo : Michelin's recommendations
The entire church has the austere mathematical lines designed by the architect: a vast nave in alternate shades of white and grey, smooth Corinthian pillars supporting semicircular arches which separate the barrel-vaulted aisles illuminated by oculi, flanked by shallow chapels on either side. The geometric pattern of the floor matches the coffered ceiling. Just before the transept are two pulpits faced with the last copper panels chased by Donatello, illustrating scenes from the Passion. The transept crossing with short side aisles opens onto a flat chancel dominated by a statue of Christ. Although the chapels contain several works of quality (in particular an Annunciation by Lippi at the end of the left side aisle), interest converges on the Old Sacristy, which is a tribute to the combined talent of Brunelleschi and Donatello! The square chapel with a hemispherical dome, a precursor to the Duomo, contains the sarcophagus of Giovanni di Bicci and his wife, while the porphyry monument at the entrance to the South chapel, the work of Verrochio, is a memorial to Giovanni and Piero de Medici. The doors opening onto the adjacent chapels have superb panels on the back, sculpted by Donatello. The left aisle leads to an attractive cloister (1457) giving onto the Laurenziana Library, which contains a wealth of book and manuscript treasures. The construction of the library owes much to the genius of Michelangelo, in particular the three-flight staircase which gives a waterfall effect).
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