Piazza Santo Spirito
Piazza Santo Spirito is one of Florence's true local piazzas. It’s one a place where the locals stop buy to get a newspaper or perhaps pick up some fruit and vegetables at the daily morning market.
Piazza Santo Spirito is the home of the beautiful Church of Santo Spirito. The unusual facade of the Church of Santo Spirito is the overwhelming symbol of this artistic quarter of Florence. It was the last great masterpiece of architect Filippo Brunelleschi. Unfortunately he died before it was finished. The facade itself is still unfinished.
Piazza Santo Spirito is one of my favorite piazzas in Florence. It is a lot quieter than the north side of the river, which is where most of Florence tourist attractions are located. It's a refreshing break from the hustle and bustle. The Piazza Santo Spirito is a marvelous atmospheric square. It is perfect for a delicious meal or drinks at one of the local restaurants. I had a terrific dinner at Trattoria Casalinga, just off the piazza on Via dei Michelozzi. It serves up one of the best traditional meals in Florence. If you not looking to eat dinner it is also perfect place to sit on a park bench under the trees with a gelato or a coffee and people watch.
During the morning there are daily markets in Piazza Santo Spirito. The evenings are full with locals sitting on the church steps or around the fountain. It was a wonderful experience and just what I was looking for.
Piazza Santo Spirito also hosts concerts, events, and fairs that take place during the year. If you happen to be visiting Florence in September, keep an eye out for the Piazza della Passera Jazz Festival. You will have a terrific time and the festival is free of charge.
I liked the streets leading into this area as well as Piazza Santo Spirito itself. It really had much more of a local square feel instead of the tourist heavy feel of the piazzas in the city center. It allowed me to get a glimpse of real local life and feel part of it.