map

Santa Maria Novella

icon-location-red

0.00/5 - (0 Votes)

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Santa Maria Novella, Firenze FI, Italy

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

EUR 5

Find it on google maps

0.00/5 - (0 Votes)
expert
Ambra
Local tour guide
"Visit Santa Maria Novella in Tuscany during the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds and experience the basilica's art in a more intimate setting. Also, check out the lesser-known cloisters attached to the church for a quiet moment of peace away from the bustling city streets."

What is Santa Maria Novella?

Santa Maria Novella is not just a mere building; it's a treasure chest of art, history, and spirituality residing in the heart of Florence, Tuscany. This majestic church, with its fascinating Gothic and Renaissance architectural elements, serves as a telling testament to the profound cultural and artistic movements that have swept through Florence over the centuries. It stands as a beacon of religious significance and artistic achievement, and its name also graces the bustling piazza and train station nearby. Its facade, a symphony of marble, can arrest the gaze of even the most hurried passersby, inviting a moment of reflection amidst the city's vibrant rhythm.

Our Most Popular Tour:

All-Inclusive
Boston Fantastic Foodie Tour

From the classic Boston baked beans to authentic authentic clam chowder to the best cream pie you’ve ever tasted, if you’re a ‘foodie’ y...

US$239/pp Learn more

History of Santa Maria Novella

The chronicles of Santa Maria Novella trace back to the mid-13th century, when the Dominicans—a religious order known for their preaching and teaching—took up residence in Florence. Initially, they established a small oratory, which soon proved inadequate for the growing conclave of friars. Thus, the construction of a grander church began around 1246, led by friar architects Sisto Fiorentino and Ristoro da Campi. Over the years, the complex expanded to include cloisters and chapels, each embellished by the hand of prominent artists of the era.

The facade, a work of art in itself, wasn’t completed until the 14th century; Leon Battista Alberti designed it in the Renaissance style, masterfully blending it with the existing Gothic structure. Over the centuries, Santa Maria Novella has played host to numerous historic events, including the 17th Ecumenical Council, known as the Council of Florence, in the 15th century, which sought to bridge divisions within Christianity. The church's enduring allure lies in how each artistic addition from different periods has seamlessly blended with the existing structure, creating a harmonious narrative of Florence's evolving aesthetic.

Why is Santa Maria Novella Important?

Santa Maria Novella is a symbol of the overflowing creative and spiritual potpourri that is Florence. It’s important not only as a place of worship but also as a cultural repository that encapsulates the transition from medieval art to the blooming of the Renaissance. Its walls are lined with works by some of the titanic figures of Italian art—Masaccio, Giotto, Filippino Lippi, to name a few—making it an important touchstone for anyone wishing to understand the cultural DNA of Florence.

Additionally, the church reflects the interplay between faith and intellect of the era, manifested in the careful attention to philosophical and theological symbolism throughout its art and architecture. This, coupled with its role as a backdrop to significant historical events, establishes Santa Maria Novella as a vital piece in the grand mosaic of Florence's past and present. It's a place where every stone and fresco has a story to tell, and those stories resonate with the wider narratives of European history and culture.

Our Top Trending Turkey Tours:

  • All-Inclusive

    Istanbul Food Tour: Turkish Delights

    US$154/pp Learn more
  • All-Inclusive

    Istanbul Cloud Nine Tour

    US$154/pp Learn more
  • All-Inclusive

    Istanbul Sultans Secrets Tour: The Top Spots

    US$164/pp Learn more

Things to Do & See at Santa Maria Novella

Stepping through the doors of Santa Maria Novella, visitors are transported into a realm where every corner and corridor whispers tales from the past. Begin your exploration at the nave, with its splendidly frescoed chapels, each one a repository of religious art. Definitely pay a visit to the Tornabuoni Chapel, adorned with frescoes by Domenico Ghirlandaio, where the lives of the Virgin and St. John the Baptist are illustrated with captivating detail and vivacity.

Don't miss Masaccio's 'Trinity', a masterpiece that exemplifies the use of perspective in early Renaissance painting, located on the left side as you walk down the nave. Venture into the Green Cloister, aptly named for the verdant hues in the frescoes that adorn its walls, and absorb what's left of the paintings that once depicted gripping biblical tales before time gradually claimed them. The Spanish Chapel, too, not to be overlooked, is a feast for the senses, with frescoes by Andrea di Bonaiuto that showcase a vivid allegorical representation of the active and triumphant Church.

Aside from these artistic gems, take a peaceful stroll through the Cloisters of the Dead, an evocative garden courtyard where tombstones are bedded in the walls, reminding us of the church's long-standing connection with the community it serves. Visit the grandiose Strozzi and Rucellai chapels, which house funerary monuments that tell as much about the city's social history as about its artistic heritage. And before you leave, let the perfume guide you to Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella—one of the world's oldest pharmacies, founded by Dominican friars in 1221—and indulge in a sensory experience as you explore scents and remedies that have soothed Florentines through the ages.

Frequently asked questions

What is Santa Maria Novella?

Santa Maria Novella is a famous church in Florence, Tuscany, known for its significant artistic and architectural heritage. It was founded by the Dominicans in the 13th century.

What can I see at Santa Maria Novella?

Visitors to Santa Maria Novella can see masterpieces of art such as the Holy Trinity by Masaccio, the Crucifix by Giotto, frescoes by Ghirlandaio, and the Tornabuoni Chapel.

Are guided tours available at Santa Maria Novella?

Yes, guided tours are often available at Santa Maria Novella. They provide valuable insights into the church's history, art, and architecture.

What are the opening hours of Santa Maria Novella?

The opening hours of Santa Maria Novella can vary, so it's best to check the latest information from official sources or the church's website before planning your visit.

Is there an entrance fee for Santa Maria Novella?

There is typically an entrance fee for visitors to enter Santa Maria Novella, which includes access to the main church, chapels, and cloisters. Fee details should be confirmed from official sources.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Santa Maria Novella, Firenze FI, Italy

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

EUR 5

Find it on google maps