Florence is particularly rich in shrines, mostly set at the corners of the old streets, and particularly in the Oltrarno, the left bank of the river.
From about the year 1200, shrines and holy images were placed over the doorways and at street corners.
In the evening, after prayers, a light was lit on every shrine which was the only light point, to guide the traveller on his way. During the Renaissance, merchants, church fraternities and art guilds commissioned works of art, also to well-known artists, and the construction of shrines as a witness of their devotion.
There are about one thousand shrines in all, in the streets of the city centre, and on the nearby country roads, where they showed the way to the next village or the way to a monastery or castle.