Top things to do

Top Choice Basilica in Santa Maria Novella

Basilica di Santa Maria Novella

The striking green-and-white marble facade of 13th- to 15th-century Basilica di Santa Maria Novella fronts an entire monastical complex, comprising romantic church cloisters and a frescoed chapel. The basilica itsel…
Top Choice Museum in Santa Maria Novella

Museo Novecento

Don't allow the Renaissance to distract from Florence's fantastic modern art museum in a 13th-century palazzo (mansion) previously used as a pilgrim shelter, hospital and school. A well-articulated itinerary guides …
Top Choice Beauty in Santa Maria Novella

Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella

In business since 1612, this exquisite perfumery-pharmacy began life when Santa Maria Novella's Dominican friars began to concoct cures and sweet-smelling unguents using medicinal herbs cultivated in the monastery g…
Top Choice Fashion & Accessories in Santa Maria Novella

Benheart

Evocative of an artisan workshop, this tiny boutique showcases the world-class leather craft of local superstar Benheart. The young Florentine fashion designer went into business with schoolmate Matteo after undergo…
Top Choice Food & Drinks in Santa Maria Novella

La Bottega Della Frutta

Follow the trail of knowing Florentines, past the flower-and veg-laden bicycle parked outside, into this enticing food shop bursting with boutique cheeses, organic fruit and veg, biscuits, chocolates, conserved prod…
Top Choice Homewares in Santa Maria Novella

Mio Concept

A fascinating range of design objects for the home – many upcycled – as well as jewellery, T-shirts and street art cram this stylish boutique created by German-born globetrotter Antje. This is also the only shop in …
Top Choice Gallery in Santa Maria Novella

Street Levels Gallery

Take a break from Renaissance art with this pioneering urban street-art gallery. Exhibitions showcase the work of local street artists, including street-sign hacker Clet, the stencil art of Hogre, and ExitEnter, who…
Top Choice Sandwiches in Santa Maria Novella

Mariano

Our favourite for its simplicity, around since 1973. From sunrise to sunset, this brick-vaulted, 13th-century cellar gently buzzes with Florentines propped at the counter sipping coffee or wine or eating salads and …
Top Choice Cafe in Santa Maria Novella

Todo Modo

This contemporary bookshop with hip cafe and pocket theatre at the back makes a refreshing change from the usual offerings. A salvaged mix of vintage tables and chairs sits between book- and bottle-lined shelves in …
Church in Santa Maria Novella

Chiesa di Santa Trìnita

Built in Gothic style and later given a mannerist facade, this 14th-century church shelters some of the city's finest frescoes: Lorenzo Monaco's Annunciation (1422) in Cappella Bartholini Salimbeni and eye-catching …