The church of Santo Stefano al Ponte Vecchio is included in the documents of the first lists of churches in Florence, dated around the year 1100. The Capitolo dei canonici del Duomo (Cathedral Chapter of canons) was located inside the church and its parishioners included several rich families living in the area. During the election of the city's leaders, the prior of Santo Stefano had the task of celebrating mass. In the 15th century, a courtyard was created adjacent to the crypt, with pietra serena mullioned windows standing out against the white plaster in Brunelleschi style. Santo Stefano al Ponte has undergone three phases of change: a Romanesque phase, of which only the lower part of the facade remains, a Gothic phase and a Florentine Baroque phase. Inside, there are various marble altars, dating back to different periods, and a beautiful flight of steps with a marble balustrade, considered one of the most beautiful works attributed to Bernardo Buontalenti.
In the 1980s, the church was suppressed and it became the auditorium of the Tuscan Regional Orchestra, a space in which major exhibitions are also held.
The Diocesan Museum was set up in the former convent and contains precious works of art from the Diocese of Florence, such as the Madonna Enthroned by Giotto, the Predella di Quarate by Paolo Uccello and San Giuliano by Masolino.