Orsanmichele Church and Museum in Florence
Here, you can admire Renaissance masterpieces by Donatello and Verrocchio
Via dell'Arte della Lana, 50123 Firenze FI, Italia
The Church of Orsanmichele is located right in the centre of Florence between Piazza della Signoria and the Duomo. It has a fascinating history: it was created in the 13th century as a loggia for the grain market and was built right above the historic little oratory of San Michele in Orto. It later returned to being a place of worship, thanks to the generosity of the Arti, the Florentine guilds, who adorned the church with high level sculptures and paintings between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries. Today, it also houses a museum where you can admire the sculptural works that have been moved inside from the external facades for conservation reasons.

Inside the fascinating gothic style ground floor, you'll find the altar with the marble group of 'Sant'Anna, the Madonna and Child' by Francesco da Sangallo (around 1526). Next to it is the tabernacle built by Andrea Orcagna between 1349 and 1359 to house the Virgin with Child and Angels, painted by Bernardo Daddi from 1347. The work  replaced a miraculous image of the Madonna di Orsanmichele (by Ugolino di Nerio) that was probably lost in the fire of 1304.

Many frescoes from the late fourteenth century adorn the columns, and the vaults are completely frescoed with characters from the Old and New Testament.

Going up to the first floor by passing through the palazzo dell'arte della lana, you find the large statues that were once preserved in the external niches and which have all been restored, including some Renaissance masterpieces commissioned by the various Florentine Arts, such as Donatello's Saint Mark, the Doubting Saint Thomas by Verrocchio, together with Ghiberti's Saint John the Baptist and Nanni di Banco's Sant'Eligio and San Filippo.
We also must mention the sculptures of San Jacopo, San Pietro and the Madonna della Rosa attributed to Niccolò di Pietro Lamberti, Bernardo Ciuffagni and Pietro di Giovanni Tedesco respectively.

The second and last floor is accessed by a spiral staircase. Here, the museum showcases forty small stone sculptures depicting saints and prophets that were originally placed on the top of the outside columns that have three-mullioned windows and two portals.
Through the large windows, you can admire an incredible view of Florence.