Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, Florence

#10 of 112 in Historic Sites in Florence
World heritage site · Architectural Building · Hidden Gem · Church
The first great basilica in Florence, Basilica of Santa Maria Novella is a treasure house of sacred ornaments and artifacts built on top of an earlier place of worship that dates back to the ninth century. The most famous are the Gothic and Renaissance frescoes commissioned by the city's most prominent families. The interior of the basilica is a labyrinth of chapels, all decorated with Renaissance artwork commissioned by families such as the Medicis. One of these family members, Cosimo I, held chariot races in the large square at the front entrance. This tradition lasted until the 19th century. Look at the sacristy for one of Giotto's early works, "John the Evangelist." Plan your visit to Basilica of Santa Maria Novella and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our Florence trip itinerary builder tool.
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Basilica of Santa Maria Novella reviews

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3,701 reviews
  • The façade of Santa Maria Novella, completed by Leon Battista Alberti in 1470. The Novella is right outside our hotel facing a large plaza. there are many frescos, paintings and sculptures here. The....  more »
  • We started our city tour here and I thought this church was impressive. Turns out its one of the smaller ones in Florence but still nice.  more »
  • This is off the beaten track as its not in the centre of town but it is on the way to the station for most people I'd guess. The outside is fairly impressive but as with most of the cathedrals in Florence, it's the inside that makes your jaw drop. I've never seen so many cloisters in a church let alone attached to a single church. The cloister of the dead is particularly impressive. Cost to get in isn't too bad. If you've not seen a reliquary before then go here, you can look right into the crystals and see them close up.
  • Lovely church. Great architecture. It only opens at 11am. We will go tomorrow. Saw other post. The interior is quite beautiful. Definitely worth to visit

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