The Oratory of St. Sebastian is the ancient heart of the famed Basilica Santissima Annunziata (the Holy Annunciation) in Florence, associated with the Pucci family since 1404. Idanna Pucci with her brother Giannozzo are now restoring this special Oratory to its original splendor with the assistance of Friends of Florence. The project began in March 2018 with master restorer, Daniela Dini, responsible for the cupola, the statues, the frescoes, as well as all the marble work, while master Stefano Scarpelli and his son Marco are restoring the paintings. The Oratory has been serving as a “teaching site” for the students of the American International School in Florence.

The Story of the Oratory

Originally, the Oratory was a simple farmhouse surrounded by woods, two hundred yards outside the northern city walls. After a four-month siege in 1081 and daily barrages of arrows, the walls did not fall and, in memory of that resilience, the farmhouse became a place of prayer devoted to Saint Sebastian because he too had been pierced by arrows and survived.

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The restoration: before and after

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