Basilica di Santa Trinità

Santa Maria Novella

Built in Gothic style and later given a mannerist facade, this 14th-century church shelters some of the city's finest frescoes. Right of the main altar, paintings (1483–85) by Ghirlandaio depict the life of St Francis of Assisi through portraits of illustrious Florentines of the time in Cappella Sassetti, (pop €0.50 in the slot to illuminate the frescoes). In Cappella Bartholini Salimbeni, the gated side chapel, Lorenzo Monaco's Annunciation (1422) sits above the altar and wall frescoes illustrate the life of the Virgin Mary.

Look out for the crest of the Bartholini Salimbeni family on the floor of the chapel – it features poppies and the motto 'Per Non Dormire' (For Those Who Don't Sleep), a reference to the fact that the family fortune resulted from the acquisition of an important cargo of wool from Northern Europe. The deal was sealed unbeknown to their business rivals, who had been doped with opium-laced wine at a lavish party the night before the cargo was due to arrive in Florence.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Santa Maria Novella attractions

1. Collezione Roberto Casamonti

0.01 MILES

Paintings and sculptures by 20th-century artists provide a colourful contrast to 16th-century Palazzo Bartolini Salimbeni which this gallery inhabits so…

2. Museo Salvatore Ferragamo

0.02 MILES

The splendid 13th-century Palazzo Spini-Feroni has been home to the Ferragamo fashion empire since 1938. Anyone with even the faintest tendency towards…

3. Chiesa dei Santissimi Apostoli

0.06 MILES

Dedicated to Sts Peter and Paul, this peaceful Romanesque church dating to 1075 is one of the oldest in Florence. Deceased babies that had not been…

4. Via de' Tornabuoni

0.07 MILES

Renaissance palaces and Italian fashion houses border Via de' Tornabuoni, the city's most expensive shopping strip. Named after a Florentine noble family …

5. Palazzo Strozzi

0.08 MILES

This 15th-century Renaissance mansion was built for wealthy merchant Filippo Strozzi, one of the Medici's major political and commercial rivals. Today it…

6. Museo di Palazzo Davanzati

0.09 MILES

Home to the wealthy Davanzati merchant family from 1578, this 14th-century palazzo (mansion) with a wonderful central loggia gives you a view into…

7. Ponte Santa Trinità

0.09 MILES

Composed of three elliptical arches of the utmost elegance – the first of their kind ever used in bridge construction – Ponte Santa Trinità was designed…

8. Museo Marino Marini

0.13 MILES

Deconsecrated in the 19th century, Chiesa di San Pancrazio is home to this small art museum displaying sculptures by Pistoia-born sculptor Marino Marini …