Hidden treasures

The Motorway Church in Campi Bisenzio

Unknown places & works
Chiesa_autostrada

The Motorway Church in Campi Bisenzio

The Church of St. John the Baptist designed by the Pistoia-born Architect Giovanni Michelucci is known to everyone as the 'The Motorway Church'. The church earned its name for its proximity to the A1 motorway, but also for the reason that inspired its construction. The Church was built exactly halfway between Milan and Rome in order to commemorate the workers who lost their lives during the construction of the motorway. However, it became known as the Motorway Church because it is, in actual fact, right next to it, practically adjacent to the lane around the Firenze-Nord exit. Its modern structure is also in perfect harmony with the Airport of Peretola and the buildings of the Motorway Agency.

When driving through the area you cannot fail to see it. You will immediately notice the imposing and extravagant structure, especially its green sail-shaped covering. Michelucci's intention was to recreate a tent-like structure, inspired by the 12 tents used by the tribes of Israel. His idea was to create a meeting place between different religions and cultures. It could not have been otherwise in a passing place like a motorway, where people of different backgrounds meet. The copper covering, which turned green due to oxidation, stands over a stone structure creating a truly unique composition. Needless to say, when it was built between 1960 and 1964 it was subjected to heavy criticism and Michelucci was even accused of 'architectural delirium'.

So if you come to Florence by car, just before the motorway exit, take a look around and you will not fail to see it. If you have the chance, go and visit it. One of the purposes that the church was also meant to serve was to be a place of peace and silence where to stop for a prayer but also just for self-contemplation, before resuming the journey.

If you are intrigued by interesting facts and lesser known places, once you have arrived in Florence, take the opportunity to combine your trip with one of our Tours in Florence, we are sure that our guides will reveal to you many of the secrets of this wonderful city!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Grosseto: The witch’s olive tree: ancient mysteries in Maremma

olivo-strega-magliano-24
Mysteries & Legends

Olives, cypresses and vines are what characterizes the Tuscan hilly landscape. But the olive tree that lies just outside the walls of M...

View

Florence: The Lion in the Florence Cathedral

Leone_Duomo_Firenze
Mysteries & Legends

In the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore there are sculptures of many different animals and it seems that each of these, in addition t...

View

Siena: The Devil’s Tower in San Gimignano: from the Middle Ages to virtual reality

Torre_del_Diavolo
Mysteries & Legends

An Italian idiom says that ‘the Devil makes pots, and not lids’. Yet in Tuscany he seems to have had lots of fun even with bridges ...

View

Lucca: Napoleone's ghost in Lucca... hunted by the Ghostbuster

Il_fantasma_di Napoleone
Mysteries & Legends

Lucca seems to be particularly sought after by ghosts. Just think of Lucinda Mansi, the nobleman who in the sixteenth century apparentl...

View

Top posts

Arezzo: Guido d'Arezzo and the invention of the music

Guido-d-Arezzo
Big Names

In Talla and surroundings people have no doubt: the inventor of the musical stave, the inventor of the music notes and also of the mode...

View

Pistoia: The Kiss of the Christs in Gavinana

Il-bacio-dei-cristi
Local Traditions

It is a very ancient but still popular rite. Two large processions that meet up with a Christ on the cross in front of each one: the he...

View

Siena: Piero Carbonetti and his tin drum

Piero-Carbonetti
Local Traditions

Subversive, persecuted, anarchist, homeless, dreamer: it is really difficult to define Piero Carbonetti, Tuscan bred and born and Garib...

View

Pisa: Kinzika, the young woman who saved Pisa from the Saracens

Kinzika
Local Traditions

It was really her, a young woman with an Arabian name, Kinzica, of the noble Sismondi family, to save Pisa from being sacked by Saracen...

View