The Cestello square in Florence is dominated by the facade of the “San Frediano in Cestello” church, from which it takes the name. The church is very old, built in the twelfth century, but its present appearance dates back to the period from the late seventeenth century, when the Cistercian monks arrived, and the beginning of the eighteenth, when the decoration was completed with the dome of Antonio Maria Ferri.

Access roads to the Cestello square are the “Lungarno Soderini”, the Cestello Street and the Piaggione Street, whose name recalls how, in the past, this area sloped to the river, resembling a sort of beach.

The name Cestello comes from the Cistercian monks, also known as the friars of “Cestello”, as the Latin word “Cistercium” means “bread basket” and the Italian word “cestello” means “small basket”. The ancient name was “Uccel Grifagno” square, because there was a wool-processing plant (tiratoio) with this curious name.

In 1695 the “Granaio dell’Abbondanza” (Abundance Barn) was built by Giovan Battista Foggini, for want of the Grand Duke Cosimo III de' Medici, in order to store the wheat for famines. This building was then administered by the “Magistrato dell'Annona” (Prefect of Food supplies) and, in the nineteenth century, it became the military bakery, then the Cavalli barrack that is its current function.

San Frediano is one of the few districts of the old town that has managed to preserve the true local appearance typical of Florence and, in recent years, it is involved in the night life of Florence, due to the opening of many night spots.

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