The birth of perspective

How Renaissance artists used science and math to more accurately mimic reality

Until Masaccio's Trinità fresco in Santa Maria Novella, painting had frequently used foreshortening to show depth, taking lines that in real life would be parallel (say, the top and bottom of a wall) and painting them instead to appear as if they were converging as they "receded." 

This gave a decent illusion of distance and three-dimensionality, but until Masaccio, foreshortening was always done a bit haphazardly, with the artists merely eyeballing things and painting each instance of foreshortening according to its own internal logic. 

Most artists of the early Renaissance era were constantly striving to add more naturalism to their work, and Masaccio provided them with the key. In the Trinità, all of the foreshortening lines are drawn to converge at to a single vanishing point at the back of the painted "vault" which contains the scene. 

These days, kids get taught that in sixth grade art class, but at the time it was revolutionary. Renaissance artists flocked to study the new technique and apply it to make their scenes ever more realistic. Some, however, did an early Picasso and mastered perspective only to warp it as a storytelling, as did Paolo Uccello in the greenish frescoes of Noah in the adjacent cloisters.

The impulse to paint ever-more naturalistically dogged art for centuries, through the baroque, Neoclassical, and Romantic movements and right up to the photorealists of the 20th century. Interestingly, it wasn't until when photography came along that artists felt truly free from having to strive to record reality flawlessly.

This opened up new opportunities for Impressionists, Expressionists, and abstract artists. Some even turned perspective on its head. Picasso went back to basics with foreshortening but then galloped in the other direction with it, away from naturalism and toward subjectivism, turning the old medieval mutiple-angle foreshortening into a brand-new painting style called Cubism.

Where to find The birth of perspective art in Italy

★★★
"The Birth of Venus" (1484–85) by Sandro Botticelli (Photo Public Domain)
Uffizi
Florence: Centro Storico

Visiting the Gallerie degli Uffizi is like taking Renaissance 101: A smorgasbord of paintings by Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian, and Botticelli—including his iconic "Birth of Venus"

 
★★★
Leonardo da Vinci's Cenacolo (Last Supper) (Photo Public Domain)
The Last Supper
Milan: Magenta

Leonardo Da Vinci's fresco masterpiece, Il Cenacolo (The Last Supper), in Milan's Santa Maria delle Grazie church

 
★★☆
 (Photo by Dimitris Kamaras)

"Uffizi Part II": A stellar collection of High Renaisance and baroque art in the princely Renaissance Pitti Palace

 
★★★
Inside the Sistine Chapel (Photo by Neil Howard)

The most famous fresco in the world: from Michelangelo's famous ceiling to his Last Judgment and the sadly overlooked walls by Perugino, Botticelli, and Signorelli

 
★★★
The Palazzo Ducale facade (Photo by Michael aus Halle)
Doge's Palace
Venice: San Marco

The gothic Palazzo Ducale with its Renaissance art and hidden rooms

 
★★★
"The Birth of Venus" (1484–85) by Sandro Botticelli (Photo Public Domain)
Uffizi 3rd floor 1st corridor
Florence: Centro Storico

Visiting the Gallerie degli Uffizi is like taking Renaissance 101: A smorgasbord of paintings by Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian, and Botticelli—including his iconic "Birth of Venus"

 
★★★
 (Photo by Viktória Nižninská)
Free
The Duomo
Florence: Centro Storico

Florence's Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Brunelleschi's dome

 
★☆☆
 (Photo by 0ro1)

The Stanza dell'Incendio in the Vatican's Stanze di Raffaello (Raphael Rooms) is a papal apartment frescoed by Raphael and his students

 
★★★
"The David" (1501–04) by Michelangelo (Photo by Jörg Bittner Unna)
Galleria dell'Accademia
Florence: San Lorenzo / San Marco

Florence's Galleria dell'Accademia has long lines for one reason—Michelangelo's David—but is packed with other artistic delights, from Michelangelo's amazing unfinished Slaves to works by Giambologna, Andrea del Sarto, and Botticelli

 
★★★
Room XII (17th century) (Photo by Petar Milošević)

The Vatican Museum's Pinacoteca is the best painting gallery in all of Rome

 
★★★
 (Photo by Oro1)

The Stanza della Segnatura in the Vatican's Stanze di Raffaello (Raphael Rooms) is a papal apartment frescoed by Raphael with the School of Athens and other masterpieces

 
★★★
Niobids (Photo by Михаил Бернгардт)
Uffizi 3rd floor 2nd corridor
Florence: Centro Storico

Visiting the Gallerie degli Uffizi is like taking Renaissance 101: A smorgasbord of paintings by Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian, and Botticelli—including his iconic "Birth of Venus"

 
★★★
St. Mark Preaching in Alexandria (1504–07) by Gentile and Giovanni Bellini in Room 8 (Photo by SunOfErat)

Milan's Brera is one of the top painting galleries in Northern Italy, with works by Raphael, Caravaggio, Tintoretto, Mantegna, Bellini, and Piero della Francesca

 
★★☆
The Stanza di Eliodoro (Photo by Lure)

The Stanza di Eliodoro in the Vatican's Stanze di Raffaello (Raphael Rooms) is a papal apartment frescoed by Raphael

 
★★☆
The castle as seen from the air (Photo by Zheng Yan)
Castello Sforzesco
Milan: Castello / Sempione

Milan's sprawling 15C castle is home to several excellent museums, of tapestries, archaeological artifacts, paintings by Bellini and Mantegna, and sculptures from medieval to neoclassical—including Michelangelo's final sculpture, the Rondanini Pietà

 
★★★
The Stanza della Segnatura is the most famous of the four Raphael Rooms (Photo by Lure)

The Vatican's Stanze di Raffaello (Raphael Rooms) are a series of papal apartments frescoed by Raphael with the School of Athens and other masterpieces

 
★★★
Paolo Veronese painted a "Last Supper" in 1573, but censors were incensed by the rowdy crowd scene, so Veronese retitled it "Feast in the House of Levi" (Photo © José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro / CC BY-SA 4.0)
Accademia
Venice: Dorsoduro

Venice's premier painting museum

 
★★★
"Venus of Urbino" (1538) by Titian (Photo Public Domain)
Uffizi 2nd floor
Florence: Centro Storico

Visiting the Gallerie degli Uffizi is like taking Renaissance 101: A smorgasbord of paintings by Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian, and Botticelli—including his iconic "Birth of Venus"

 
★★☆
The inner courtyard (Photo by Zairon)
Ca' d'Oro
Venice: Cannaregio

Venice's Ca' d'Oro (Golden House) is a gorgeous 15th century palatial home housing the Galleria Giorgio Franchetti museum

 
★★☆
The Salone dei Cinquecento, with Vasari frescoes and statues by Michelangelo, Giambologna, and others (Photo by Juan Carlos Peaguda)
Palazzo Vecchio
Florence: Centro Storico

Florence's Palazzo Vecchio is a Gothic town hall decorated by Renaissance masters

 
★☆☆
Detail of the facade (Photo by JoJan)
Free

A statue-studded facade and tapestry-lined cathederal—plus a digression on ancient local hero Pliny the Elder

 
☆☆☆
The wall featuring The Vision of the Cross (1520) by Giulio Romano, Giovanni Francesco Penni and Raffaellino del Colle (Photo Public Domain)

The Stanza di Constantino in the Vatican's Stanze di Raffaello (Raphael Rooms) is a papal apartment frescoed by Raphael's students according to his designs

 
★☆☆
Sala dei Santi (1492–94) frescoed by Pinturicchio (Photo by Photo Scala, Florence)

The Vatican's Appartamento Borgia (Borgia Apartments) were the private chambers of Borgia Pope Alexander VI, frescoed by early Renaissance master Pinturicchio

 
★★☆
The Upper Hall, or Salone Maggiore (Photo by Didier Descouens)

An ancient Venetian men's club slathered in Tintoretto paintings

 
★★☆
The statue-filled upper hall (Photo Public Domain)
The Bargello
Florence: Centro Storico

A flock of Donatellos and other great works in this sculpture gallery annex of the Uffizi

 
★★★
The Baldacchino over the altar of St. Peter's (Photo by Jorge Royan)
Free
St. Peter's
Rome: Vatican

St. Peter's Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro) in Rome: Motherchurch of Christendom

 
★☆☆
The Atrium (Photo by Jean-Christophe BENOIST)
Free
Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio
Milan: San Vittore

From this 4C church, St. Ambrose—bishop of Milan when the city was briefly capital of the Western Roman Empire—had a profound effect on the development of the early church

 
★★☆
"The Madonna Enthroned with Saint Andrew, Saint Nicolas, Saint Paul, and Saint Peter" (1487) a polyptych by Bartolomeo Vivarini (Photo Public Domain)
I Frari
Venice: San Polo

The Titians, Bellini, and Donatello in the church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari

 
★☆☆
St. Stephen, lunette of the north wall, (1447–49) by Fra Angelico (Photo Public Domain)

The Vatican's Cappella Niccolina (Chapel of Nicholas V) was frescoed by Fra' Angelico

 
★☆☆
The armory, designed by Arnoldo Pomodoro (Photo Public Domain)

A small private museum stuffed with great paintings by Bellini, Botticelli, Piero della Francesca, Tiepolo, and more (plus: a poison ring!)

 
★★☆
The Imperial Room, with Bernini's Rape of Persephone (Photo by Damian Entwistle)
Galleria Borghese
Rome: Via Veneto & Villa Borghese

Rome's Borghese Gallery is packed with amazing works by Bernini, Caravaggio, and Raphael, and ranks as one of my top three small museums in the world

 
★★☆
Michelangelo's Tomb of Giuliano de' Medici, Duke of Nemours, featuring the figures of "Day" and "Night" (1524–34) (Photo by Avia)
Medici Chapels
Florence: San Lorenzo / San Marco

The Michelangelo-adorned tombs of the Medici in the Sagrestia Nuova and the ornate Cappella dei Principi (Chapel of the Princes) of San Lorenzo

 
The Eva Prima Pandora (c 1550) by French Renaissance painter Jean Cousin, in the Louvre Museum (Photo Public Domain)

The rebirth of classical ideal, its artists using naturalism and linear perspective to achieve new heights of realism

 
★★★
The Basilica of Santa Croce on Piazza Santa Croce (Photo by Augusto Mia Battaglia)
Santa Croce
Florence: Santa Croce

Santa Croce church is the Westminster Abbey of Florence: The tombs of Renaissance giants Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Galileo, and Rossini (plus some great Giotto frescoes—and a renowned leather school)

 
The Eva Prima Pandora (c 1550) by French Renaissance painter Jean Cousin, in the Louvre Museum (Photo )

The rebirth of classical ideal, its artists using naturalism and linear perspective to achieve new heights of realism

 
★★☆
A private tour of the Sistine Chapel (Photo by Unknown)

See the Sistine Chapel with a small private tour—and no one else around

 
★★☆
 (Photo by Allan Parsons)
Santa Maria Novella
Florence: Santa Maria Novella

This Florentine church puts painting in perspective—literally, as home to some of the most groundbreaking frescoes of the early Renaissance

 
★☆☆
The museum (Photo by Dominik Matus)
Museo Diocesano
Milan: Ticinese

The best works from small church museums and treasuries across Milan and Lombardy

 
★★☆
The Cerasi Chapel, with paintings by Annibale Carracci (center) and Caravaggio (left and right) (Photo by Frederick Fenyvessy)
Free

Rome's church of Santa Maria del Popolo is like a primer on the development of art and architecture from the early Renaissance through the baroque

 
★★★
 (Photo by Marc Buehler)
Free
Piazza della Signoria
Florence: Centro Storico

Florence's main square is a public living room filled with ancient and Renaissance statues and fountains

 
★★☆
The Mithraeum at the lowest level of San Clemente (Photo by Allie Caulfield)
Free
San Clemente
Rome: Downtown Ancient Rome

A few blocks from the Colosseum is the best place in Rome to see the layer-cake effect of its history in action: church piled atop church piled atop pagan temple

 
★☆☆
"Presentation to Pontius Pilate" (1460s) on the Pulpito della Passione by Donatello (Photo Public Domain)
San Lorenzo
Florence: San Lorenzo / San Marco

The Medici family church, with Donatello sculptures and architecture by Brunelleschi and Michelangelo

 
★★★
Mosaic ceiling inside the Battistero di San Giovanni (Photo by Ricardo André Frantz)
The Baptistery
Florence: Centro Storico

Florence's Battistero di San Giovanni and Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise

 
★☆☆
 (Photo by Ben Cremin)
Castel Sant'Angelo
Rome: Vatican

The Pope's private castle and personal stronghold in times of trouble, and a museum of arms and armor in times of peace

 
☆☆☆
A room of small statues and reliefs (Photo by Vassia Atanassova - Spiritia)
Museo del Duomo
Milan: Duomo

A small museum devoted to sculptures, stained glass, artworks, and other treasures from the cathedral

 
★☆☆
AD 2C equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius (Photo by schizoform)
Capitoline Museums
Rome: Downtown Ancient Rome

These museums atop Rome's Campidoglio connected by the Tabularium house iconic ancient statues (she-wolf, colossal statue of Constantine, Lo Spinario, Dying Gaul, etc.) and great art by Caravaggio, Titian, and Rubens

 
★☆☆
The Sala delle Prospettive frescoed by Peruzzi (Photo by Combusken)
Villa Farnesina
Rome: Trastevere

The Villa Farnesina is a gorgeously frescoed private Renaissance villa belonging to a famous 16th-century banker

 
★☆☆
"The Last Supper" (1592–94) by Tintoretto (Photo Public Domain)
Free
San Giorgio Maggiore
Venice: Dorsoduro

An island church built by Palladio, decorated by Tintoretto and Bassano, and offering great views from the campanile

 
☆☆☆
 (Photo )
Museo Civico Correr
Venice: San Marco

The history of Venice, in paintings

 
★★☆
Room 2 in the museum (Photo courtesy of the museum)
Museo Capodimonte
Naples: Capodimonte

The most important painting gallery in all of Southern Italy

 
★★☆

A 17C riverside fortress filled with Renaissance and baroque Old Maters—and a striking Palladian theater

 
★★☆
The room of painted crosses (Photo by Luca Aless)
Museo di San Matteo
Pisa: Along the Arno

A treasury of Gothic and early Renaissance paintings by the Arno

 
★★☆
Baptistry
Around Siena's Duomo

A riot of medieval frescoes and a catalog of greatest early Renaissance sculptors including Donatello's early use of perspective

 
★★☆
Museo dell’Opera
Around Siena's Duomo

The cathedral museum is filled with works by Donatello and Duccio and comes with a stunning panorama of Siena

 
★★☆
Collegiata
San Gimignano

Spectacular early Renaissance frescoes wallpaper the main church of San Gimignano

 
★★☆
Museo di Castelvecchio
Città Antica di Verona

A gorgeous medieval castle now home to paintings by Renaissance masters from Venice and Verona

 
★★☆
Collegio del Cambio
Around Corso Vannucci

A medieval meeting hall covered in early Renaissance frescoes by Perugino and Raphael

 
★★☆
transport
Free

A massive cathedral with one of the great fresco cycles of the Renaissance and a facade of stunning Gothic carvings

More about Duomo of Orvieto

 
★★☆
 (Photo by Sailko)
Free
Loggia de' Lanzi
Florence: Centro Storico

An airy medieval porch filled with Renaissance and ancient Roman statues

 
★★☆

The central square and public living room of Bologna, with an oft-photographed Renaissance fountain surrounded by medieval buildings

 
★★★
The Duomo
Around Siena's Duomo

Siena’s striped cathedral is a rich treasure house of Tuscan art.

 
★★★

The tallest tower in town rises above the frescoed Palazzo Pubblico

 
★★★
Galleria Nazionale
Around Corso Vannucci

Umbria's top painting gallery, with plenty of works by Perugino

 
★☆☆
Narcissus (1594–96) by Caravaggio (Photo Public Domain)
Palazzo Barberini
Rome: Via Veneto & Villa Borghese

Rome's Palazzo Barberini serves as half of the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, a collection of Old Masters from Raphael to Caravaggio

 
★☆☆

A room gorgeously frescoed by Correggio

 
★☆☆
Santa Maria della Scala
Around Siena's Duomo

A gorgeously frescoed former hospital and several small churches in one complex

 
★☆☆

A chapel with Renaissance and early baroque frescoes by the Sienese school

 
★☆☆
Pinacoteca Nazionale
Terza di Città

Siena's branch of the National Painting Gallery

 
★☆☆
 (Photo )
Badia a Passignano
Florentine Chianti

A postcard-perfect Renaissance monastery surrounded by a high-end wine estate

 
★☆☆
transport
Duomo
Città Antica di Verona

The Romanesque Cattedrale di Santa Maria Matricolare has paleo-Christian roots and a painting by Titian

 
★☆☆
Museo Capitolare
Around Corso Vannucci

A layer cake of Perugian history including Etruscan, Roman, and medeival structures plus a small art museum

 
★☆☆
Capella San Severo
Northern Perugia

A chapel covered in frescoes by a young Raphael and Perugino

 
★☆☆
San Pietro
Southern Perugia

A Gothic church filled with great art by Perugino and others

 
★☆☆
Palazzo Abatellis
Palermo center

Sicily's top art museum in a 15th century Palermo palazzo

 
★☆☆
The nave (Photo by Vitold Muratov)
Free
Il Duomo
Naples: Centro Storico

The duomo of Naples and Feast of San Gennaro

 
★☆☆
The distinctively Gothic nave (Photo by Saint Joseph)
Free

Sculptures by Michelangelo and Bernini, the bodies of Fra' Angelico and St. Catherine, and the tombs of two Medici popes—so why isn't this church right behind the Pantheon more famous?

 
★☆☆
 (Photo by Arnaud 25)
Free
Arringheria
Florence: Centro Storico

The statue-lined terrace in front of the Palazzo Vecchio tells Florence's story in sculpture

 
★☆☆
 (Photo by Mia Battaglia)
Free
Orsanmichele
Florence: Centro Storico

A Gothic granary-turned-church decorated by early Renaissance sculptures

 
★☆☆
This Filippo Brunelleschi–designed church was called the most beautiful church in the world by Bernini (Photo by Randy Connolly)
Free
Santo Spirito
Florence: Oltrarno

The church of Santo Spirito in the Oltrarno: Brunelleschi at his best

 
★☆☆
"Confirmation of the Franciscan Rule" (1483–85) by Domenico Ghirlandaio in the Sassetti Chapel (Photo Public Domain)
Free
Santa Trìnita
Florence: Centro Storico

A church by the river with amazing, courtly Renaissance frescoes by Ghirlandaio

 
★☆☆
'Last Supper' (c. 1450) by Andrea Del Castagno (Photo by Jean Louis Mazieres)
Free
Cenacolo di Sant'Apollonia
Florence: San Lorenzo / San Marco

A gorgeous, hidden Last Supper fresco in Florence

 
★☆☆
The facade (Photo by Max_Ryazanov)
Free
SS. Annunziata
Florence: San Lorenzo / San Marco

A treasure trove of Renaissance architecture and Mannerist art, and final resting place of several late Renaissance masters

 
★☆☆

The Romanesque cathedral with 16C frescoes by Correggio and others

 
★☆☆

A baroque face hides masterworks by the two great native artists: Correggio (Renaissance) and Parmigianino (Mannerist)

 
★☆☆
Casa di Santa Caterina
Terza di Camollia

St. Catherine's house is where Siena's famous home-grown saint and medieval diplomat lived

 
★☆☆
transport
Free
San Domenico
Terza di Camollia

A Gothic church (and Siena landmark) housing the relics of St. Catherine of Siena

 
★☆☆
Sant’Agostino
San Gimignano

This 13C church at the north end of town is full of good 15C frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli and others

 
★☆☆
The frescoes (Photo Public Domain)
Free
Oratorio dei Pellegrini
Assisi centro storico

Gorgeously frescoed little Renaissance chapel

 
★☆☆
Piazza Pretoria
Palermo center

A palazzo– and church-ringed piazza centered on the elaborate Fountain of Shame

 
☆☆☆
The main facade (Photo by Palickap)
San Domenico Maggiore
Naples: Centro Storico

Gothic, Renaissance, and baroque art masterpieces in a Neapolitan church

 
☆☆☆
A room in the museum (Photo by Filippo Espo)
Museo Correale
Downtown Sorrento

A small, bit-of-everything museum

 
☆☆☆
The Hall of Mirrors (Photo by Andy Rusch)
Galleria Doria-Pamphilj
Rome: Tiber Bend

Rome's Galleria Doria-Pamphilj is a princely private collection

 
☆☆☆
 (Photo by Patrick Rasenberg)
Galleria Corsini
Rome: Trastevere

Great Renaissance and baroque paintings at the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica in the Palazzo Corsini alla Lungara

 
☆☆☆
The clock on St. Mark's clock tower tells both the time and the position of the sun relative to the signs of the Zodiac (Photo © Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY 2.5)
Torre dell'Orologio
Venice: San Marco

The Clock Tower on Piazza San Marco

 
☆☆☆
"Battle of the Centaurs" (c. 1492) by Michelangelo (Photo Public Domain)
Casa Buonarotti
Florence: Santa Croce

This former home of Michelangelo's nephew has some early works by the Renaissance's greatest master

 
☆☆☆
 (Photo by Sailko)
Spedale degli Innocenti
Florence: San Lorenzo / San Marco

Europe's original Red Cross, decorated with fine Renaissance art

 
☆☆☆
"Crucifixion and Last Supper" (1360–65) by Andrea Orcagna (Photo by Sailko)
Fondazione Salvatore Romano
Florence: Oltrarno

Orcagna's "Last Supper" fresco in the old refectory of Santo Spirito

 
☆☆☆
The Della Robbia room, showing by 'St. Romulus and his Martyr Companions' (1515–20) Benedetto Buglioni (Photo by Sailko)
Museo Bandini
Florence: Fiesole

Small museum with some nice Gothic and early Renaissance paintings

 
☆☆☆
Impruneta
Florentine Chianti

The town that makes all those terra cotta roof tiles also has fine baroque works in the main church

 
☆☆☆

A small museum with late Gothic and early Renaissance works

 
☆☆☆
The Piazza Sant'Anastasia with the Basilica di Santa Anastasia (right) and Chiesa di San Giorgetto (left) (Photo by Didier Descouens)
Sant’Anastasia
Città Antica di Verona

A huge gothic church with fine Renaissance works

 
☆☆☆

The Siracusa art museum has some fine Renaissance and baroque works by Antonello da Messina, Caravaggio, and Domenico Gagini housed in the Palazzo Bellomo

 
☆☆☆
transport
Free
The Duomo
Downtown Sorrento

The Renaissance Cathedral in Sorrento has some fine intarsia (inlaid wood) work on its doors (1990s) and the choir stalls (1930s)

 
☆☆☆
The nave (Photo by David Bramhall)
Free
Sant'Agostino
Rome: Tiber Bend

The church has works by Caravaggio, Raphael, and Sansovino—and lies just off Piazza Navona—yet sadly sees few visitors

 
☆☆☆
Raphael's Sibyls in the Chigi Chapel (Photo by Peter1936F)
Free
Santa Maria della Pace
Rome: Tiber Bend

A tiny church off Piazza Navona decorated by Raphael and Peruzzi with architecture by Bramante and Pietro Da Cortona

 
☆☆☆
The lower register of Michelangelo's Monument to Julius II (1505–45) (Photo by Andrea Moroni)
Free
San Pietro in Vincoli
Rome: Downtown Ancient Rome

Michelangelo's famous Moses statue on tomb of Pope Julius II—plus the chains that bound St. Peter—at the chruch of "St. Peter in Chains"

 
☆☆☆
The Basilica of Sts. Maria & Donato (Photo by Zairon)
Free
Santa Maria e Donato
Venice: The Northern Lagoon

A medieval church with Byzantine bits and Renaissance frescoes

 
☆☆☆
"Barbarigo Altarpiece" (1488) by Giovanni Bellini (Photo Public Domain)
Free
San Pietro Martire
Venice: The Northern Lagoon

A small Murano church loaded with paintings by Tintoretto, Paolo Veronese, and Giovanni Bellini

 
☆☆☆
Fontana del Nettuno (Photo by Morio)
Free
Neptune Fountain
Florence: Centro Storico

The statue-studded fountain Florentines love to hate

 
☆☆☆
'Crucifixion and Saints' (1493–96) by Perugino (Photo by Sailko)
Free
Santa Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi
Florence: Santa Croce

Home to "Crucifixion and Saints," a fresco by Renaissance Grandmaster Perugino

 
☆☆☆
The facade (Photo by Rufus46)
Free
San Francesco
Florence: Fiesole

Fransican church and convent with an early Renaissance altarpiece, Etruscan ruins, and a tiny museum with Chinese and Ancient Egyptian artifacts

 
☆☆☆
There is lots of great Gothic carved detail in the facade (Photo by Sailko)
Free
Santa Caterina
Pisa: Eastern Downtown Pisa

A Gothic facade and Pisano carvings

 
☆☆☆
The interior (Photo by Johann H. Addicks)
Free
San Francesco
Pisa: Eastern Downtown Pisa

A barn of a church with Mannerist and Baroque pantings

 
☆☆☆
transport
Free
San Martino
Terza di San Martino

A small church with some nice late Renaissance and Mannerist paintings

 
☆☆☆
transport
Free
San Francesco
Terza di Camollia

A Gothic church with works by the Lorenzetti Brothers

 
☆☆☆
Santa Caterina delle Ruote
Florentine Chianti

A small church with early Renaissance frescoes

 
☆☆☆
An aerial view
Free
Lenno
Tremezzina

A tiny town with a magnificent villa, frescoed church, and, nearby, the spot where Mussolini was shot

 
☆☆☆
San Bernardino
Northern Perugia

A gorgeous facade covered in early Renaissance deep bas reliefs by Agostino di Duccio

 
 
 

Related

★★☆
 (Photo by Allan Parsons)
Santa Maria Novella
Florence: Santa Maria Novella

This Florentine church puts painting in perspective—literally, as home to some of the most groundbreaking frescoes of the early Renaissance