Three old Roman roads – Via Porta Rossa, Via delle Terme and Borgo SS. Apostoli – converge in the irregularly shaped Piazza Santa Trínita. Although often lost in shadow, it boasts an exceptional architectural ensemble, grouped around the Column of Justice from the Roman Baths of Caracalla, given by Pius IV to Cosimo I, and topped with a red statue of Justice by Francesco del Tadda.
The pale granite of the column is set off by the church of Santa Trínita and the surrounding palaces: the High Renaissance–Roman Palazzo Bartolini-Salimbeni by Baccio d’Agnolo(1520) on the corner of Via Porta Rossa, once the fashionable Hôtel du Nord where Herman Melville stayed; the medieval Palazzo Buondelmonti, with a 1530 façade by Baccio d’Agnolo , home to a 19th-century reading room where Dumas, Browning, Manzoni and Stendhal once browsed; and the magnificent curving Palazzo Spini-Feroni to the right of Borgo SS. Apostoli, the largest private medieval palace in Florence, built in 1289 and still retaining its grim battlements.
The Spini were ancient rivals of the Medici, who came close to pinching the highly profitable papal banking business from them in 1420, before going suddenly bankrupt; now it’s part of the Salvatore Ferragamo empire, with a museum displaying 60 years of fashion designs
Images by: PD Art