This massive church was one of the most impressive in size, architecture, and collection of relics—for the art that is within and surrounding the building.
Before you head inside, almost as an afterthought hidden in between kiosks selling St. Anthony prayer candles and rosaries, you'll encounter the equestrian statue of Gattamelata by Donatello.
If you are traveling during the week of June the 13th (the day that St. Anthony died) you'll be in the company of hundreds, perhaps thousands, who have come to pray to him inside the church beside his tomb. Visitors, some desperate for an answer from above, leave flowers, letters and personal items alongside his tomb.
At the back of the church there are relics that belonged to St. Anthony such as his preserved tongue, black and withered by time, that sits within a glass case surrounded in gold. Other items include his ear, pieces of clothing he was thought to wear and touch during his life.
The size of the interior and columns may inspire you to sit among those loyal devotees and listen to a lulling service in Italian.
(My camera was held hostage during my visit so the image is accredited to http://commons.wikimedia.org)