This is a very special Tempting Tuesday for me. I am happy to welcome my friend Katie Greenaway to write about one of her favorite spots in Florence, where she is so lucky to call home. This is special, because last month when I visited Florence and met Katie in person for the first time, she took me on a walk through her Florence, past this beautiful church and through the most peaceful residential neighborhoods. I am grateful for the new friends I have met here in Italy, for how they brighten my days and make me feel at home here in a new country. This photo is us in front of the SS. Apostoli church. But I’ll let Katie tell you more about it…
The most tempting place for me in Florence is my special church named SS. Apostoli. The church was introduced to me in 2002 by my very Italian art and architecture teacher, Vera. It was closed at that time but I always remembered that it was Vera’s favorite church, and it was an obsession for me to arrive there when it was open. It was like a secret treasure that I needed to uncover. Since then, it has been a place of solitude and quiet contemplation for me.
Not many people know about this exquisite church located right next the Arno river in Piazza del Limbo. Legend has it that there is a cemetery underneath the cobblestones where babies were buried. The babies died before being baptized. Hence the name of the piazza, Limbo. Built in the 11th century, SS. Apostoli is one of the oldest churches in Florence.
The church was said to have been built by Charlemagne in the year 800 A.D. The facade speaks to the Romanesque period and the main doors from the 14th century. SS. Apostoli was severely damaged in the 1966 flood when the Arno river came over it’s walls and flowed into the church. Many of the frescoes were damaged beyond repair others are still being restored to this day. It is a rare experience when you visit SS. Apostoli, so much history and so much soul.
SS. Apostoli really brings my life here to a calming stop when I step into this sacred space. I can’t hear the taxis speeding down Borgo SS. Apostoli, nor tours marching along the streets, absolutely nothing. I never pass up a chance to visit my church. It lies in the middle of the city and yet when you step inside, you enter a peaceful universe. It is more than tempting, it is enticing!
Katie Greenaway is a freelance travel writer and is the Local Expert of Florence for Nile Guide where she also provides the secrets of Florence on her blog. She writes about her life in Florence on her personal blog Olio di Oliva e Sogni di Vino and contributes to MNUI Travel Insurance with travel articles.