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Santa Margherita de’ Cerchi

Beatrice's Church

Reputed tomb stone of Beatrice

This church, built in 1032, is where Dante as a boy first espied the young Beatrice in 1273 and where he would later wed his second choice, Gemma Donati, whose family arms still emblazon the 13th-century porch.

Both Beatrice and Gemma were buried here in their family tombs (although Beatrice was probably really buried in the Bardi tomb of her husband's family); you can also see the tombstone of Monna Tessa, Beatrice’s nurse. Like Juliette in Verona, Beatrice gets a lot of letters from the lovelorn, deposited in a box by the altar, although unlike Juliette, she doesn't have a bank of secretaries writing replies.

The altar boasts a beautiful golden Madonna and Four Saints by Neri di Bicci.

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Via Santa Margherita

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Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: V1adis1av, Creative Commons License