Basilica of Santa Maria Novella

If you walk from our hotel Palazzo Vecchietti through Piazza Duomo an Via dei Banchi, a cosy street full of shops and cafés, you will arrive straight to Piazza Santa Maria Novella where you will be amazed by the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, one of the most important churches in Florence.

Initially you will be immediately overwhelmed by the beauty of the marble facade, one of the most important works in the Florentine Renaissance, that was only completed in 1920.

The works on the facade began in 1350, but they had to stop during the Council of Florence in 1439. Only twenty years later, the wealthy merchant John Rucelli, gave Florence the opportunity to continue the construction, by entrusting the project to his favourite architect, Leon Battista Alberti.
Alberti, whose style is linked to earlier Gothic structures, was able to seamlessly and perfectly melt modern with classic style creating something new.

For the internal construction of the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, Cistercian Gothic elements were used. Structurally this style consists of a Latin cross shaped structure, divided into three naves with six large bays that get smaller gradually when approaching the altar, playing with perspective and giving thus the feeling that the church is larger than it actually is.

At the end of the nave, you can admire the famous Crucifix of Giotto, while wonderful stained glass and the paintings of Filippo Lippi, such as the Madonna with Child and St. John and St. Philip will capture your attention.