Santa Maria Maggiore, Florence

Santa Maria Maggiore, Florence

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

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Florence. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Santa Maria Maggiore on Map

Sight Name: Santa Maria Maggiore
Sight Location: Florence, Italy (See walking tours in Florence)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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.
Arno South Bank Walking Tour

Arno South Bank Walking Tour

The area south of Arno river, also called Oltrarno ("Beyond the Arno"), is a quieter place but not less interesting. Here you can find the Pitti Palace whose collection of paintings is second only to the Uffizi, and the vast Boboli Gardens once enjoyed by the Medici and the royal family. One of the first and most important examples of "Italian Gardens", they later served as...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 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. No amount of photos or copies of the statue will do it justice, so to see it with your own...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 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. On this self-guided tour, we've compiled a list of shops and markets where you can find something unique to remember your Florentine visit.

Start at Central Market, which is not only a fun and colorful place to visit, but also the best place to stop for a meal....  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles
Florence Introduction Walking Tour

Florence Introduction 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 it was built between two rivers; later, however, this 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

Located in the very heart of Florence’s Historic Center, the Duomo area is deservedly considered the city’s religious and civic center, with many famous landmarks to be found. The most prominent of these is the breathtaking sight that is the Cathedral, also known as the Duomo, built on the site of a 7th-century church. Its magnificent Renaissance dome was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, a...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Florence Food Tour

Florence Food Tour

Food is one of the great Florentine passions, and the great thing about having a delicious authentic Tuscan meal, a snack, delicatessen, or a quality gelato here – besides the abundant variety – 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...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


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Souvenir Shopping Guide: 16 Unique Products to Buy in Florence

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