Santa Maria Maggiore, Florence

Santa Maria Maggiore, Florence (must see)

Originally constructed in the 11th century, Santa Maria Maggiore di Firenze is not as glamorous as other Florentine churches but beautiful nonetheless. In the 13th century, it underwent extensive Gothic-style renovations to the facade and sides; however, the exterior remained rather undecorated, with stone walls and the portals surmounted by tympani. The bell tower, although reduced in height, survives from the Romanesque building. It appears to have the head of a woman – popularly known as Berta – embedded in its walls.

The interior, restored in the 17th century, is simple with a nave and two aisles, ogival arches and groin vaults. Artworks include frescoes by Bernardino Poccetti, a Nativity by Matteo Rosselli, and, above the altar of the left transept chapel, a polychromed stucco relief panel, the Madonna del Carmelo, long attributed to the 13th-century artist, Coppo di Marcovaldo. If you need a place to rest and/or pray peacefully, this off-tourist-path church is the right place in Florence.

***DANTE'S FLORENCE TOUR***
In the church chapel, look for the tomb of accomplished scholar and philosopher Brunetto Latini, who at one time was Dante's mentor, having introduced him to the authors of antiquity. Latini was also one of the most significant of Florentine political figures and as such was a role model for the aspiring poet concerned with his city's political life. Certainly Dante admired his teacher and held him in high esteem, though in his Comedy, for some unclear reason, he sticks Latini in the seventh circle of Hell, among the sodomites.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 7am-12pm / 3:30-5:30pm

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Florence, Italy within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Santa Maria Maggiore on Map

Sight Name: Santa Maria Maggiore
Sight Location: Florence, Italy
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) containing this sight: Dante's Florence Walking Tour  

Walking Tours in Florence, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Florence

Create Your Own Walk in Florence

Creating your own self-guided walk in Florence is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
City Orientation Walking Tour

City Orientation Walking Tour

The city of Florence was founded by Julius Caesar in 59 BC as a settlement for veteran soldiers and, as such, was built in the style of an army camp with the main streets intersecting at the present Piazza della Repubblica. The original name Fluentia was due to the fact that the city was built between two rivers. Later, the name was changed to Florentia which means “flowering” or...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles
Duomo Walking Tour

Duomo Walking Tour

Duomo quarter is located in the very heart of the Florence Historic Center. This area is deservedly considered the religious and the civic centre of the town. Most of the historic sites Florence is famous for are to be found here. Take this self-guided walk to explore all the masterpieces of the Duomo quarter.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Michelangelo's Masterpieces Walking Tour

Michelangelo's Masterpieces Walking Tour

Michelangelo spent over 20 years of his life in Florence – the birthplace of the Renaissance – during which time he created some of the most beautiful masterpieces the city had ever seen. The most famous of them, the David, was larger than life, and brought a larger-than-life image to the artist. Take this self-guided walk to admire Michelangelo's artistic mastership in Florence as well...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles
Florence Local Food Walk

Florence Local Food Walk

Food is one of the great Florentine passions, and the great thing about having a delicious authentic meal, a snack, delicatessen, or a quality gelato here is not having to spend a lot of money for it. In general, the “osterias” and the eateries nestled in Sant’Ambrogio Market will offer cheaper and more casual food with an emphasis on home cooking, but there's no shortage of “smart”...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles
Dante's Florence Walking Tour

Dante's Florence Walking Tour

Dante Alighieri was arguably the greatest – albeit also most controversial – of Italy's poets. After having served as one of the six priors governing Florence, his political activities, including the banishing of several rivals, led to his own banishment, upon which he wrote his masterpiece, “The Divine Comedy”, as a virtual wanderer, seeking protection for his family in one town...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Duomo Souvenir Shopping

Duomo Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Florence without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of shops and markets where you can find something unique to Florence, that you might like to purchase to remember your visit.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Souvenir Shopping Guide: 16 Unique Products to Buy in Florence

Souvenir Shopping Guide: 16 Unique Products to Buy in Florence

Compared to other Italian "grands" like Rome, Venice, or Milan, Florence is relatively less-known to an outsider for any local products, save, perhaps, Florentine mosaics and Fiorentina FC. Fortunately, there are tonnes of locally-originated things that this Italian city is rightfully...
Top 14 Pubs in Florence

Top 14 Pubs in Florence

Florence, the city of art and beauty has no problem in mastering the art of the nightlife as well. Local pubs are very popular and appreciated among the Florentines and the tourists. Locals and native English speakers that study or live in the city cannot wait to welcome tourists in their cozy...
Florence's Tasty Coffee Shop Guide

Florence's Tasty Coffee Shop Guide

The caffe scene throughout Italy is an important factor of everyday life. People will pop in to their favorite bar on their way to work for a quick espresso breakfast with a pastry, they’ll grab a slice of pizza for lunch or drop by for an aperitivo before dining out and take a peaceful digestivo...