Episode 15: San Marco, Fra Angelico and Bartolomeo

Fresco at San Marco, Florence

Perhaps one of Florence’s lesser-known pleasures, San Marco’s tranquil atmosphere and beautiful frescos are a delight. Hear a brief history of the building, including its connections to Cosimo de Medici and the ‘mad monk’ Savonarola, both of whose rooms you can visit. Find out too about the 43 monks’ cells, each with their own fresco, and the Pilgrim’s Hospice. Learn about the library, originally commissioned by Cosimo di Medici for his growing book collection and which today houses displays of medieval illuminated manuscripts and display cases telling you about this medieval technique. Lastly, there is information on the monastery’s two most famous artists – Fra Angelico and Bartolomeo – and on the works they left behind them here at San Marco.


More information about Florence coming soon.

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Links & Reading

3 useful websites for tourists
Feel Florence
Visit Florence 
Destination Florence

4 guidebooks on Florence
Pocket Rough Guide to Florence 
Time Out Florence City Guide
Blue Guide Florence by Alta Macadam
Strolling through Florence by Mario Erasmo

2 more guidebooks on Florence and Tuscany
Lonely Planet Guide to Florence and Tuscany 
Eyewitness Travel Guide to Florence and Tuscany by Christopher Catling

3 history books and a guide to art and architecture
Florence, the Biography of a City by Christopher Hibbert
The Medici by Paul Strathern
The Medici by Mary Hollingsworth
Art and Architecture in Florence by Rolf C Wirtz

3 anthologies
Florence: A Traveller’s Reader by Edward Cheney
Florence Stories Everyman’s Library Pocket Classics
A Literary Companion to Florence by Frances King

2 memoirs of Florence
Florence: A Delicate Case by David Leavitt
A Florence Diary by Diana Athill

4 novels set in Florence
The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant
The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone (Biographical novel about Michelangelo)
A Room with a View by E M Forster
Galileo’s Daughter by Dava Sobel