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San Michele in Foro – for a Romanesque masterpiece

  • San Michele in Foro – for a Romanesque masterpiece

    Heading north out of Piazza del Duomo takes you to Piazza San Michele, ringed by Renaissance arcades. At the centre of the square, the church of San Michele in Foro, built on the site of the Roman forum, must be one of the most spectacular Pisan-Romanesque façades in Italy. Pisa was the seminal influence here as its trade links with Spain and North Africa led to its fondness for surface patterning in architecture, copying Moorish tilework and textiles. From Pisa, the oriental influence spread to Lucca. The best Pisan-Romanesque churches come with ornate facades of green, grey and white marble. In this city masterpiece, the chiselled style of the delicate colonnades emphasises the height and exuberance of the façade. Flanked by Lucca’s loveliest bell-tower, the tiered arcades are decorated with delicate motifs and allegories. Carved in green and white marble are hunting scenes featuring exotic beasts, such as bears, dragons and elephants, encountering more domestic animals, such as ¬rabbit, a duck and a crow eating grapes. The church is topped by a huge gilded statue of Archangel Michael slaying a dragon, flanked by two angels.

    Address: Piazza San Michele, Lucca
    Web: https://www.visittuscany.com/en/attractions/the-church-of-san-michele-in-foro/

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