The Arch of San Pierino is probably a remnant of Florence‘s old city wall. It is a fairly long passage between Piazza San Pier Maggiore and Via dell’Oriuolo. Until recently, there was a small market under this arch.
Arch of San Pierino Florence
Opening hours and admission
The Arco di San Pierino is accessible free of charge at any time of the day. It is located in the Borgo degli Albizi. The nearest bus stop is Salvemini (lines 14, 23, C1 and C2).
History and description
The San Pierino Arch has the same proportions and shape as the famous triumphal arches in Rome and Paris. It stands on one of the city’s most cosy squares, where pubs such as the Lion’s Fountain make it particularly lively in the evenings.
The passage mentioned above is called the Vault of San Pierino. This is where the eastern entrance gate to Florence‘s second city wall used to be located.
The loggia of the former San Pier Maggiore Church is part of the arch. The Arco di San Pierino was not originally an arch at all, but was in its entirety part of this church.
On July 27, 1784, this church was destroyed by order of Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo. The Grand Duke claimed that this was because the building was about to collapse, but it is thought that in reality he wanted to get rid of the powerful Benedictine monks who ran the monastery. At the same time, he acquired the wealth of this monastery.
On top of the monument you can see some terraces. These belong to houses built on the upper part of the arch.
The name of the district where the arch is located was also San Pierino, which gives an indication of how powerful the monastery used to be.