Florence free tour

According to tradition, on January 26, 429, the body of San Zanobi, bishop of Florence, was transferred from the Basilica of San Lorenzo to the Cathedral of Santa Reparata. However, along the way, near the north door of the baptistery, the saint’s relic touched a dry elm, and despite the fact that it was full winter, the tree rejected.

A column was erected in Piazza San Giovanni to commemorate the miraculous incident where the Olmo was trimmed, but it was carried away by the violence of the flood in 1333. As a result, the next year, a new column was added, which we see today. The stem, surmounted by a cross and ornamented with a wrought iron tree and some inscriptions, ensured that the Olmo miracle was never forgotten. During the late twentieth-century repair by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, the column’s original capital and cross were replaced by fiberglass replicas, which were later displayed at the Museum of the Opera del Duomo.

In 1516, to commemorate the event, the “translation of the body of San Zanobi” was commissioned to the Ghirlandaio painter Ridolfo, along with the painting of another miracle of the saint, to complete the decoration of the altar of the Compagnia di San Zanobi in the rectory of Santa Maria del Fiore.

Both paintings are on display at the Academy Gallery, along the hallway of Michelangelo’s prisons, in front of the David tribune.

On January 26 of each year, the Florentine Republic’s historical procession serves as a customary and suggestive setting for the “Fiorita di San Zanobi” ceremony, during which municipal officials place a floral tribute to the remembrance of the miraculous event. San Zanobi was born in Florence in the mid-fourth century and died around 417; he is known as the “apostle of Florence” and is one of the city’s compatrons.

If you want discover more about Florence ant its incredible story, come with us. We are organizing a Florence free walking tour, that start from Santa Maria Novella square, meeting point in front of Minerva Hotel next to the church.