Santa Maria Novella

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Santa Maria Novella: Our most recommended tours and activities

Florence: Eco Tour by Electric Cart

1. Florence: Eco Tour by Electric Cart

Explore the historic center of Florence by electric golf cart and leave your conscience clean as you cover more sights than possible on a walking tour. Climb aboard the eco-friendly cart in Piazza San Firenze and drive through the streets of the Renaissance city, passing Piazza Signoria and the Porcellino Market. Continue to the Duomo and marble façade of the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella. Journey along the banks of the River Arno to Piazza Ognissanti. An MP3 player will be provided with commentary about the history of the city and its sites so that you can sit back and relax as your escort drives you across the Santa Trinita Bridge. Marvel at the Pitti Palace and Ponte Vecchio. Continue to the Ponte alle Grazie, rebuilt after it was destroyed in World War II. Go to the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale (National Central Library) on Piazza Santa Croce to see the largest library in Italy.

Florence: Santa Maria Novella Entry Ticket & Audioguide

2. Florence: Santa Maria Novella Entry Ticket & Audioguide

The complex of Santa Maria Novella dates from the early decades of the 13th century, following the settlement in Florence of the first Dominican friars. It gradually expanded in size and importance during the following centuries. Your 1-hour visit to the Basilica and Cloisters of Santa Maria Novella will be enhanced with a multimedia guide in the form of a 7-inch tablet that provides fascinating audio-video narration with images in high definition and spectacular 3D re-creations. Learn about an important chapter in the history of Florence and discover the works of the greatest artists of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, including Giotto, Masaccio, Filippo Brunelleschi, Paolo Uccello, Domenico Ghirlandaio, and Filippino Lippi.

From Livorno: Shore Excursion to Florence & Pisa

3. From Livorno: Shore Excursion to Florence & Pisa

Discover the "Cradle of the Renaissance" and the beautiful miracle square at your own pace with a round-trip transfer service from Livorno. Your journey will be in a comfortable GT coach with air-conditioning and free Wi-Fi, driven by a multilingual assistant for your convenience. You'll receive a free map of Florence and Pisa, as well as receive an emergency number so that everything goes smoothly. Your first destination will be Florence - you will be dropped off at the Piazzale Montelungo next to Santa Maria Novella Train Station, enjoy your free time to explore the sites that interest you the most at your own pace. At 2:30 PM, you will leave Florence and travel to Pisa for 3:30 PM, where you will have at least 70 minutes to visit the famous Piazza dei Miracoli, one of Italy's most famous monuments. At 4:45 PM the bus leaves Pisa to arrive back at Livorno at 5:15 PM. With this transfer service, focus on enjoying these two beautiful cities instead of worrying about transportation.

Florence: Santa Maria Novella Private Tour

4. Florence: Santa Maria Novella Private Tour

The 3 hour tour of history and ancient smells begins in one of the most important and mythical squares in Florence - the square of Santa Maria Novella, which was the site of many celebrations and events in the past. The highlight of the tour is the charming church of Santa Maria Novella, with a facade made by Leon Battista Alberti perfectly reflecting renaissance, showing the ideals of humanist architecture. However, the church has a strong Gothic style predominance and thus a balance of both styles and harmony in general. The tour continues discovering huge glamour inside the church which was inspired by Classical Era and era of Greek and Roman times with fabulous masterpieces: Trinity by Masaccio with its famous "I was once what you are, and what I am you will become", Crucifix by Brunelleschi, Girlandaio's frescoes on the Tardibuoni's chapel  and Crucifix by Giotto (the most important Florentine artist ever).  One more less known, but nevertheless important, part of the tour is Santa Maria Novella's pharmaceutical workshop - the most ancient one all over the world. Passing through an old doorway, you will come back in the times of 1300, a period of magnificence and richness. The first room is full of bright sweet perfumes tickling noses. Among the most popular renewed pharmaceutical products, the most interesting ones are Santa Maria Novella's water, in ancient times called Anthysterical water, the Medici's elixir and the red liquor Alkermes. Choose from all of the kinds and acquire your magic potion.

Florence: Sights and Bites Small Group Tour

5. Florence: Sights and Bites Small Group Tour

Begin your immersion into Florence with a small group walking and tasting tour. Admire the iconic sights of Florence and learn the historical and cultural significance from your guide. Work up an appetite and taste sweet pastries, wander the food market, and discover a famous local hotspot. Meet your guide at the Santa Maria Novella square and admire the homonymous Basilica, a true Renaissance masterpiece. Learn the history and the characters of Florence as you stroll through city alleys. Reach the Cathedral, a symbol of the city, and learn how Brunelleschi managed to build the big dome. Visit Signoria Square, surrounded by sculptures and artworks by Donatello, Cellini, Giambologna, and Michelangelo. Get ready for the first tasting at a local bakery, savor delightful parties ad Tuscan sweets that are impossible to find on your own. Walk towards the Arno river and contemplate the noble palaces and Ponte Vecchio. Next, explore the medieval district and Santa Croce church, which hosts the most important characters of Florence inside and an annual ancient history tournament. Pass through to the east side of the city and take in the bustling atmosphere as you browse the daily food market. Try different tastes of Florentine delicatessens and breathe the fresh aromas of local products. Stop last at a curious food shop, famous even to the locals. Chill out with a tasty glass of wine and a selection of Tuscan crostini or a treat of the day. Cin cin!

Florence: Vintage Bike Tour with Gelato Tasting

6. Florence: Vintage Bike Tour with Gelato Tasting

Florence is perfect for biking, and this 2 and a half hour bike tour takes you where bus tours can’t, into pedestrian areas and along narrow side streets. Save time on a bike and let your guide show you roads away from the usual tourist paths. You will ride through the narrow streets of the main center and the Oltrarno. Visit Santa Maria Novella, Palazzo Pitti and the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge. Gaze at the architecture of the Uffizi square and see the Santa Croce church. We will cycle through the Piazza della Signoria and the medieval district, before stopping to admire the Duomo and Piazza della Repubblica. Relax, enjoy the tour, and taste a wonderful Gelato in the Oltrarno district! See Florence in a whole new way, and experience the city as a cyclist.

Pisa: Day Excursion from Florence

7. Pisa: Day Excursion from Florence

Beginning from Florence, you will depart from the main train Station of Santa Maria Novella. After 1 hour you will reach Pisa Station before meeting your guide for a group tour of the main Square, Piazza dei Miracoli. This of one of the most important historical complex in Europe and has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 1989. The itinerary includes an introduction to the Square and of all its monuments (Baptistry, Monumental Cemetery, Leaning Tower and Cathedral) and a visit inside the Cathedral. With this tour you have the possibility to book tickets for the Leaning Tower in advance. After the visit you will have free time to walk by yourself in the city center, before choosing any train to get back to Florence 

Florence: Round-Trip Transfer to Pisa

8. Florence: Round-Trip Transfer to Pisa

Enjoy a practical transfer from Florence city center to Pisa, throughout which you'll be able to enjoy the famous Piazza dei Miracoli. There you can take picture of the Leaning Tower and if you want, and can also get on the top by purchasing tickets. You can also visit the cathedral and the baptistery, or take a stroll alongside the Arno River. You will also be welcome to taste some delicious ice-cream in one of the numerous shops. At the conclusion of your sightseeing day, you'll be able to enjoy your journey back to Florence at 2:00PM on an air-conditioned GT coach.

Florence: Pisa Morning Tour with Optional Leaning Tower

9. Florence: Pisa Morning Tour with Optional Leaning Tower

Your day of discovery begins with a walk along the medieval walls as you head toward the ancient entrance, Porta Santa Maria. Once you've reached this historic destination, you can admire how the white marble architecture stands out amongst the green lawns of Piazza dei Miracoli. Throughout your tour, your expert guide will accompany you and help you discover the Piazza dei Miracoli and all its most famous monuments. Some of these major landmarks include the Baptistery, the monumental cemetery and the famous Leaning Tower. At the end of your guided tour, you will have free time to relax on the lawn in the shadow of the Tower, or if you prefer, enjoy a spot of shopping amongst the local stores.  If you wish, you can add to your excursion by purchasing entrance tickets to the Leaning Tower of Pisa whilst boarding your bus.

Florence: Guided Tour by Bike with Gelato Tasting

10. Florence: Guided Tour by Bike with Gelato Tasting

Explore Florence on a small-group bike tour led by your expert tour guide. Discover the city's four districts with detailed explanations about the history and the architecture. Start the journey and pass by Piazza del Duomo to discover the famous Baptistery of San Giovanni and the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. Also, visit Piazza della Signoria and the Uffizi Gallery. Then cross Ponte Vecchio to reach Palazzo Pitti. During every stop there will be time for pictures and your guide will be glad to answer any questions. Considering that the city center of Florence is totally flat, everyone who knows how to handle a bike can join the tour, with a very low muscular effort. At the end of the tour, taste one of the best ice creams in town.

Other Sightseeing Options in Santa Maria Novella

Want to discover all there is to do in Santa Maria Novella? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Santa Maria Novella

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 975 reviews

An excellent way to get a feeling for the whole city and its sights in a short period of time - after our 2 hour whirlwind tour of the main sights, including the beautiful view down over the city from Piazzale Michelangelo, our driver/guide kindly drove us back to Ponte Vecchio so we could spend more time exploring the district on our own. The Bose speaker made the English commentary about the sites we visited easy to listen to and was just the right length - our driver/guide, who was fun to be with, then gave us us a lot of extra insights to the sites she took us to - including the secret of getting lucky when you make a wish to wild boar - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porcellino. Bella Firenze - we will back again !

This is a great way to see a lot of Florence in a short period of time. We only had the afternoon, so this was perfect. The best part is getting to view the entire city from Michelangelo Square. Magnificent! Our driver was prompt, friendly, and pointed out the best places for pictures. It was cold, but the golf cart has plastic sides that can close. It’s tough to see through the plastic to get pictures, though. If you are taking the tour in the winter, bundle up, wear a scarf and you’ll be just fine without the plastic.

We booked a same day city tour (no other options could accommodate a same-day tour) so we were a little nervous that we might get cancelled on, but the guide showed up and gave us a great tour of the city. Would recommend again.

Gabriel was our tour guide he was amazing from start to finish If you have children I recommend you use him been wonderful with the children and soo good my kids just want to go back Worth every cent

Really amazing trip around Florence if you haven’t already been. Got to see everything and stop to take pictures