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Santa Maria Novella

Santa Maria Novella: Our most recommended tours and activities

Florence: Santa Maria Novella Entry Ticket & Audioguide

1. 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

2. 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. Leave Florence and travel to Pisa in the afternoon, where you will have at least 70 minutes to visit the famous Piazza dei Miracoli, one of Italy's most famous monuments. After, enjoy a scenic transfer back to Livorno.

Florence: Eco Tour by Electric Cart

3. 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 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: Round-Trip Transfer to Pisa

5. 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: Guided Tour by Bike with Gelato Tasting

6. 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.

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: Sights and Bites Small Group Tour

8. 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: Street Art Tour

9. Florence: Street Art Tour

Explore an unexpected, contemporary side of Florence on this walking tour of the city's best graffitis, murals and street art. Learn where the modern-day Leonardo, Botticelli, and Michelangelo live and work and discover the links between past and present Renaissance art. During your tour, experience an alternative Florence and learn about the city's recent history through its colorful walls which tell stories of society, history, and politics.  Stroll through the streets of the city and explore the main squares, such as Santa Maria Novella, Piazza Della Signoria, and Piazza Pitti. You will also visit some more off-the-beaten-path locations where the walls have been turned into canvases by young contemporary artists.

Florence: Occult & Esotericism Walking Tour For The Curious

10. Florence: Occult & Esotericism Walking Tour For The Curious

Join your guide on a special tour of Florence that reveals the dark history of the city. Look for esoteric symbols and discuss all things magic and alchemy. See the basilicas of Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella, the Florence Baptistery, Piazza San Marco, the Museum of Masonic Symbols, and more. See the facades of the basilicas of Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella for evident signs of science mixed with esoteric symbols. Spot the Latin palindrome engraved in the Florence Baptistery that remains to be a mystery. Study the deeds of Pazzino de' Pazzi, a crusader knight from 1050. Learn about the stones of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, which are still used for lighting the famous Brindellone, during the Florentine tradition of the Explosion of the Chariot on Easter day. Furthermore, analyze the arsenic poisoning that killed Pico della Mirandola and Agnolo Poliziano in 1494, intriguing intellectuals from the circle of Lorenzo the Magnificent, who rest together in the Church of San Marco in Florence. Then, listen as your guide sheds light on the Neoplatonic Florentine Academy, founded by Cosimo de' Medici, and its impact on the literary and artistic culture of Florence. Talk about the Florentine Studio, a place that once teemed with philosophers, theologians, and magicians. Get ready for more tales of killings, crimes, and punishments. Hear of Girolamo Savonarola, a Dominican preacher, who was hanged and burnt at the stake in 1498 in Piazza della Signoria. Uncover the history of the Templars and Cathars in Florence and the city's first Masonic lodge. Get goosebumps as you learn about a dark period during which babies born crippled were rejected by families and killed in secret—never to be found— because the general belief suggested that they were children of the devil. Next, walk to Piazza Santissima Annunziata and try to count the bees on the statue of Ferdinand I. End the tour with a visit to the Museum of Masonic Symbols, the first Italian museum devoted to Masonic ideology. See a display of ritual objects with etched, embroidered, printed, and engraved symbols. 

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What people are saying about Santa Maria Novella

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 1,204 reviews

We visited Florence and Pisa. It was an amazing trip. Everything was well organized, the bus was comfortable and the driver Stefano was careful and responsive to his tourists' needs. Finally he even drove us directly to our ship. The tour guide Alessandro was the most valuable asset of the trip. He was highly educated and knowledgeable person. His history excurses and the sense of humor made his explanations very interesting. The most impressive was the Alessandro's ability to easily switch to different languages. He was fluent in 3 other languages in addition to his Italian. His personal qualities were also on display when he went on to find lost tourists saving other tourists time. Try to book your trip when Alessandro is on duty.

The guide took us to Michelangelo Square though it was not covered by our particular tour. He also offered many fun facts. A very enjoyable ride indeed.

It was Awesome worth every penny, it was fast but very informative, Simone was excellent lots of information and very kind, we really recommend it.

Great overall tour! Get the highlights of Florence and beautiful pictures with narration that is not too much but just right!

The best tour in Florence ! Very thorough and knowledgeable guide!