Santa Maria Novella in detail

Planning Tips

Top Tips

To really get the most out of Santa Maria Novella's main sights – the basilica complex and Museo Novecento – reserve yourself a spot on a fascinating guided tour of each or a hands-on art workshop for kids aged four to seven years. Tours (€4, 1¼ hours) are run by Mus.e; book by phone, email or in situ at the museums.

Local Experiences

  • Trainspotting Most people rush through Florence’s main train station, Stazione di Santa Maria Novella, without a second glance, but in fact it’s one of Italy’s great modernist buildings. Built in the early 1930s, the station’s plain facade mimics the rough stone of churches such as San Lorenzo; the red-and-white striped marble floors recall the city’s official colours. Grab a drink with locals afterwards at adjoining Fabbricato Viaggiatori.
  • People-watching Lap up the morning sun and neighbourhood vibe on the cluster of contemporary benches in front of Basilica di Santa Maria Novella.
  • Street Art Get acquainted with the enigmatic Blub, Exit Enter and other edgy Tuscan street artists at the city's dedicated street-art gallery; buy cards of their work to send home at Mio Concept.
  • Cheap romance Before sunset, follow the lead of savvy, budget-conscious Florentines: buy a bottle of wine and head to the hottest seats in town – the smooth, stone platform created by the east-facing bridge supports of Ponte Santa Trìnita. Sit above the swirling water and toast the sun as it sinks behind the romantic, star-lit Ponte Vecchio further down the river.