Santa Maria Novella

Basilica in Florence

Santa Maria Novella
CC BY-SA 3.0 / JoJan

The Basilica of Santa Maria Novella is a significant church in Florence, known for its beautiful colored marble and impressive works of art housed within its walls. Originally built by the Dominican Order in the 13th century, it began with the small Church of Santa Maria delle Vigne, named after the surrounding countryside.

The striking white and green marble façade of the basilica was a work in progress starting from 1350, featuring a combination of Romanesque and Renaissance styles, with the upper part completed by Leon Battista Alberti in 1470. The interior of the church, an early example of Gothic architecture in Florence, is a treasure trove of artistic masterpieces.

Masaccios Holy Trinity, Santa Maria Novella, Florence
Public Domain / Masaccio

Among the notable works within the basilica is Masaccio’s Holy Trinity fresco from 1424, a ground-breaking piece that marks the pinnacle of Renaissance art, as it was one of the first to experiment with perspective.

Giotto’s impressive Crucifix, dating back to 1290, stands at the end of the nave, one of the artist’s early masterpieces. The Strozzi Chapel contains frescoes by Filippino Lippi depicting the life of Saint John the Evangelist, while the Tornabuoni Chapel features a fresco illustrating moments from the lives of the Virgin Mary and Saint John, possibly with contributions from Michelangelo.

Notable works also include Sandro Botticelli’s nativity scene from early in his career and Filippo Brunelleschi’s Crucifix in the Gondi Chapel, the only sculpture he made out of wood, intended to rival Donatello’s Crucifix in Santa Croce.

A single entrance ticket grants access to the entire monumental complex of Santa Maria Novella, including not only the basilica but also the Dominican spaces and cloisters, such as the famous Green Cloister with frescoes by Paolo Uccello, the Spanish Chapel with frescoes by Andrea Bonaiuto, and the Cloister of the Dead.


The Santa Maria Novella appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Florence!

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Visiting Santa Maria Novella

Hours:

Monday to Thursday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Friday: 11:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Sunday: 1:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.


Price:

Adults € 7.5

Address: Santa Maria Novella, Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes

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