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The Santa Maria Novella church in Florence, Italy is chronologically the first great basilica (an early Christian church designed like a Roman basilica) and stands as the city's principal Dominican church. It is also one of the most important Gothic churches in Florence. Check out its beautiful façade made of marble with attractive patterns and colors. Another worthy not-to-miss feature is the frescos depicting different scenes from Renaissance era. The church itself, along with the adjoining cloister and the chapterhouse (building attached to a monastery or cathedral and used as a meeting place for the chapter of a fraternity) showcases a diverse and spectacular array of art treasures, which includes funerary monuments and the Gothic and early Renaissance frescoes by masters of the periods. The construction of the church took place by the order of Dominican friars and the construction period spans throughout the 13th and the 14th centuries, with the marble colors of the façade reminding of the monumental Duomo and the charming Santa Croce. The beauty of the interior decors surpasses the rest in the city of Florence. You’ll be stunned by everything from the chapels to Masaccio’s Holy Trinity fresco to the stained-glass windows.
Gaze upon the timeless beauty of Santa Maria Novella Church and dig into its artistic treasures
Visit the Museo Novecento, a museum that competes with the Uffizi Gallery and also the Galleria dell’Accademia. The museum showcases art from the 1900s and later periods, including contemporary art.
Have a taste of Florence! The area lays a platter of different choices at your disposal for great dining, not to miss the bars close to the Santa Maria Novella church. You can enjoy the best of mouthwatering Italian delicacies. Look out especially for the simple Caprese salad with tantalizing bruschetta and enormously large and juicy Florentine steaks. It will be an extraordinary culinary experience that you can write home about.
Pay a visit to the Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy. It is another classic tourist attraction of the city. It is the oldest structure of Florence (built in 1221 AD) with an interior so luxurious and opulent that just stepping in becomes a unique experience. The frescoes and statues are a pleasure to look at and so is its stunning architecture. Those who are into reading will find the large array of ancient books an absolute feast for eyes.
Indulge at the Shake Cafe! It’s for the times when you need some refreshments amidst sightseeing. The cafe’s specialties are its healthy juices, smoothies, and hot chocolates. Get a taste of bagels with distinct Italian flavors and have the Green Detox if you have binged the night before.
The Chiesa dei Santi Michele e Gaetano is an awe-inspiring building that’s on the Via Tornabuoni, a street that nests the luxury designer brands from all over the world. Also called the San Gaetano, it is a Catholic church from the Baroque period and remains open till 6 PM. It has one of the most stunning interiors among Italian churches.
How to Get Tickets?
The last entry to be allowed inside the church is 45 minutes prior to closing time and the ticketing office also closes at the same time. From October to March, the visiting hours are 09:00 to 17:30, while for the rest of the year it is 09:00 to 19:00. Ticket prices vary depending on age. Keep a valid identity card with you as age proof.
How To Get Around?
You can explore this architectural masterpiece at your own pace on foot.
What Should I Wear?
Appropriate and respectful dress code is advised since it is a religious site. If you wear shorts or skirts, they should be knee length to cover the knees. Clothing like bare midriffs, spaghetti straps, skimpy tops is better to be avoided. You cannot wear caps, hats and sunglasses inside the church.
Best Time to Visit
The complex of Santa Maria Novella is open throughout the year. You can plan to visit it any time between April 2nd and June 24th or between August 20th and November 11th if you are particular about ideal weather.
Will I Need a Guide?
Bring your own guide or use the tour-guide books available.
How To Get There?
Land at the Pisa Galileo Galilei airport, 62 miles west of Florence and avail an Autostradale bus to reach Florence. From there, you can take a tram or a bus.
The church doesn’t offer any luggage deposit facility. You can avail the luggage storage facilities at the nearby railway station or other private storage facilities which provide lockers. Visitors are not allowed to smoke, consume food or beverages inside the complex. Usage of mobile phones inside is banned. You cannot bring your pet animals. Taking photos or videos with tripods or flash is prohibited. You are advised against carrying your trolleys or bulky luggage inside the church.