Santa Maria Novella, Florence

Santa Maria Novella, Florence

Built in the 13th century, Santa Maria Novella is, chronologically, the first great basilica in Florence, and the city's principal Dominican church. The church, the adjoining cloister, and chapter house contain a multiplicity of art treasures and funerary monuments. Especially famous are frescoes by masters of Gothic and early Renaissance, financed by the most important Florentine families, who ensured themselves funerary chapels on consecrated ground.

On the exterior, the pediment and the frieze are clearly inspired by antiquity, but the S-curved scrolls in the upper part are new and without precedent in antiquity. Solving a longstanding architectural problem of how to transfer from wide to narrow storeys, the scrolls (or variations of them), found in churches all over Italy, all draw their origins from the design of this church.

As well as being a beautiful church with amazing cloisters, it also contains many art treasures: frescoes, statues, paintings and wooden crosses. Some of the pieces are world-famous, such as "The Holy Trinity", a fresco by Masaccio which profoundly influenced Florentine painting and inspired future generations with its use of perspective and mathematical proportions. Also of note is the pulpit designed by Brunelleschi himself, which has a particular historical significance since it was from this pulpit that the first verbal attack was made on Galileo Galilei, leading eventually to his indictment.

***DANTE'S FLORENCE TOUR***
Don't miss the Cappella Strozzi di Mantova situated at the end of the left transept. The frescoes are inspired by Dante's "Divine Comedy": Last Judgment (on the back wall; including a portrait of Dante), Hell (on the right wall) and Paradise (on the left wall). This artwork was made between 1350 and 1357.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Thu: 9am–5:30pm; Fri: 11am–5:30pm; Sat: 9am–5:30pm; Sun: 1–5:30pm (Oct–Mar);
Mon-Thu: 9am–7pm; Fri: 11am–7pm; Sat: 9am–5:30pm; Sun: 1–5:30pm (Apr–Jun);
Mon-Thu: 9am–7pm; Fri: 11am–7pm; Sat: 9am–6:30pm; Sun: 12–6:30pm (Jul–Aug);
Mon-Thu: 9am–7pm; Fri: 11am–7pm; Sat: 9am–5:30pm; Sun: 12–5:30pm (Sep)

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.

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Santa Maria Novella on Map

Sight Name: Santa Maria Novella
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
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. This self guided walk takes you to these and other wonderful places, along the way passing by charming...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Medici Landmarks

Medici Landmarks

The Medici family helped to establish Florence as the single most important art capital of Renaissance Europe. In order to prove wealth and power, they built numerous palaces, libraries, churches, chapels and personal residences. The Medicis were big lovers of art and they acquired huge, expensive collections, as well as supporting many sculptors and painters of the time. This self-guided tour...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 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

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