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Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, Florence

4.4
#7 of 55 in Historic Sites in Florence
Architectural Building Religious Site
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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." Use our Florence travel itinerary maker to arrange your visit to Basilica of Santa Maria Novella and other attractions in Florence.
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Where to stay in Florence

Variety is not a problem when deciding where to stay in Florence. The compact town center is packed with hotels, hostels, and small inns. The drawback of this upmarket central area is that even family-run B&Bs often cost as much as luxury hotels. For more affordable lodgings, explore the area outside the tourist-driven city center. Staying in one of the city's residential neighborhoods allows you to immerse yourself in the daily life of local Florentines. B&Bs and hotels outside the center offer private parking and spacious rooms, all within walking distance of the main tourist sites.
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4.4
  • This church has the most beautiful frescoes painted by Ghiberti, where young Michelangelo has been preparing the walls and maybe has painted some parts of the frescoes too. This is the most beautiful ...  more »
  • very different to what i was expecting but very beautiful and ornate..a church still in use everyday for the faithful  more »
  • Very pretty church, close to the train station. It is on a beautiful plaza, great for photos and for getting coffee/snacks. The church charged admission to enter.  more »
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  • A beautiful building and square where the crowds are less and great photos can be taken. This is one of the great places to visit in Florence. It is close to many other historical places and also to many possible places to grab a quick bite.
  • Admission is 5 euro, only one cashier. We went on a Thursday afternoon around 11am and there was no wait. Not really worth the admission, they don't have Nelli's Last Supper painting until 2018. The courtyard inside the church is beautiful. Save your Euros and go visit Santa Croce.
  • Nice place. No audioguides available today. The second big interior garden was not accessible.
  • Good place but fee can be smaller. Admission is 5 Euro and wait is quite a bit since there is only one cashier. Coming from Rome where there are so many beautiful Basilica's it felt strange to pay for admission to the church and endure long line. While inside there were a good number of painting and nice courtyards and mini museum. Overall it's a good experience.
  • Great setting with historical and cultural baggage. Too bad they didn't have any audiobooks available and the biggest garden didn't take visitors