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After Palazzo Strozzi the road widens and opens up in Piazza Santa Trinità, a nearly-triangular shaped square that opens towards the Arno River. The tall stone block you see in the center crowned by a statue of the late 1500s is the Column of Justice, and comes from the Caracalla Baths in Rome. You can admire several historic buildings overlooking the square here. On the left, one next to the other, are two beautiful palaces from the early 1500s. At the back you can see the stern Palazzo Spini Ferroni, built in the 1200s as a turreted castle to guard the river. In the 1800s it hosted town hall, and today after thorough restorations, you can visit the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum, a fascinating exhibition on the work of the fashion designer and brilliant creator of high fashion footwear, but the palace is also a venue for temporary exhibitions.

In front of the museum is the Church of the Santa Trinità, or Holy Trinity, which hides a pleasant surprise: the façade dates back to the end of the 1500s but the interior is a 14th-century architectural jewel, with slender rectangular pillars supporting Gothic arches. I'd especially like to point out the late-Gothic frescoes in the fourth chapel on the right side, and above all, continuing down the same side the beautiful Sassetti Chapel that was decorated in the second half of the 1400s with bright frescoes by Domenico Ghirlandaio, who also painted the dazzling altarpiece. You can recognize episodes from the life of St. Francis in the frescoes, set in the urban and social reality of Florence at the time of Lorenzo the Magnificent. Don't miss the tomb of a bishop carved by Luca della Robbia on the left side, with a marble sepulcher with a magnificent glazed, multicolored, terracotta, ornamental band decorated with leaves, fruits, and flowers.

Leaving the church, after a few steps you'll have reached the river right at the 16th-century Santa Trinità Bridge, which is arguably the most stylish of those that connect the two banks of the Arno River. The three slender elastic arches were designed by Bartolomeo Ammannati.


FUN FACT: during the Nazi occupation in 1944, all the bridges of Florence were blown up except Ponte Vecchio, which Hitler ordered not to bomb because he was quite fond of it. The Santa Trinità Bridge was rebuilt after the war with its original stones, which had wound up at the bottom of the river, as well as the statues of the Four Seasons which stand on its corners.

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