Piazza Santo Spirito
The piazza is one of Florence's true local piazzas, a place where the residents still come to buy a newspaper at the newstand in the corner of the piazza or perhaps pick up some fruit and vegetables in the daily morning market (Monday to Saturday, 8am to 2pm). In the evenings, the place is buzzing with young arty types who frequent the little bars and cafes for an aperitivo (after-dinner drink), such as Volume (No. 5 red, open until 1am).
Come here for dinner, too, at Trattoria Casalinga, just off the piazza on Via dei Michelozzi, 9 red (closed Sundays). It serves up one of the best traditional meals in Florence. Next door is another cheap and cheerful spot, Gustapizza.
The unusual facade of the basilica of Santo Spirito is the overwhelming symbol of this artistic quarter of Florence. It was the last great masterpiece of architect Filippo Brunelleschi, who died in 1446 before it was finished. The facade itself is still unfinished.
Legend has it that the young Michelangelo used to come to the monastery of the basilica here to persuade the monks to let him use the cadavers in the monastery's morgue to study anatomy. You can see the young artist's wooden crucifix inside the church's sacristy. The public hours tend to change but are usually from 9am-noon and 4-6pm.