Piazza San Florence has altered several times over time, beginning with the Roman era, when the city’s defenses were built here. If you walk in front of the Bargello Museum, you will notice a semi-circle on the street that marks the Roman tower unearthed by years beneath the road surface. One of these little-known improvements is located just near to the Bargello Museum. We are discussing the church of S.Apollinare in its distinctive form, but it is a rather ordinary building. In truth, that little church was one of the twelve churches of the Priories of Florence, possibly built in the sixth century AD under the control of the Goths of Theodoric, and was dedicated to Apollinare, a Ravenna martyr of Syrian ancestry. The two notarial acts of January and February 1065 are dated back to the mid-twentieth century… “Vinea Sancti APPOLENARI” (the vineyards of S.Apollinare, at that time there were vineyards worked by the monks) and “Petium Terre Posite Extra Muros Civitatis Florentie Prope Ecclesiam Sancti Apollinaris” (request for land located outside the walls of the city of Florence near the church of Sant’Apollinare).
The building facing East was comparable to the Basilichian classic forms, with three naves separated by five round arches resting on quadrangular pillars and ending with an apse. He was funded by the Guolfa family of the sacks, and before the fourteenth century, the brothers Andrea and Bernardo Orcagna painted frescoes on the facade and apse. After a while, the naves and five altars were erected, with their donors (families or institutes dedicated to gifts) represented by their own “weapons” or walls walled on the cloister walls. A condemnation was delivered by beheading the Pontifical Legate Tesauro dei Beccheria (Beccaria), accused of seeking with Manfredi (last monarch of the Swabian line of the Kingdom of Sicily) to promote the return of the Ghibelline factions to Florence. This execution featured a seven-year papal interdict against Florence, and the native city of Cardinal Pavia threatened to arrest and seize the assets of Florentine merchants who lived and worked in the aforementioned town. As usual, the Florentines responded in their own way, through Brunetto Latini’s verses, that if the cardinal was resurrected a thousand times, he would have deserved death, as Dante himself mentions him in hell, XXXII, 19-20 “You have filed the puppeter to whom Fiorenza saw the gorgiera”.
The church passed to the Olivetan monks in 1592, and after various renovations, we arrive at the Habsburg-Lorena, and especially with the new Grand Duke Francesco Stefano who put “stakes” to the power of the Inquisition, the old seat of the Court of S.Croce was moved to S. Apollinare, now deconsecrated, became the new headquarters of the Court and prison of the Inquisition, thus creating a real prison-civil complex of Bargello, probably the French press highlighted the door In 1782, Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo I of Tuscany changed the structure called “New Shames” into a jail for those imprisoned for civil obligations, while the rooms adjacent to the cloister were used as offices for the administration, and judiciary, which on November 30, 1786 for the first Time to the world abolished both torture and the death penalty. Later, it was known as a “female prestorial” until the Florentine prisons were gathered in the complex of the former most of the walled up, and finally it became a place to welcome the city’s poor. In 1879, however, Count Pietro Guicciardini bought the building for 10,100 lire and converted it into the brothers’ evangelical church. However, because of the building’s previous use, several repairs were required, and the inauguration took place on November 7, 1880.
The former devoted church in the Holy S. Apollinare is now home to a pizza and restaurant. How many changes over a period of time… If you are interested to discover more secrets of Florence come with us, we are organizing a very original free walking tour of Florence, tips based. Our meeting point is in Santa Maria Novella square in front of Minerva Hotel. please book in advance in our page online.