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Santa Maria Novella

Santa Maria Novella: Our most recommended tours and activities

Florence: Eco Tour by Electric Cart

1. 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 Entry Ticket & Audioguide

2. 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.

Florence: Pisa Morning Tour with Optional Leaning Tower

3. Florence: Pisa Morning Tour with Optional Leaning Tower

Your day of discovery begins with a walk along the medieval walls as you head toward the ancient entrance, Porta Santa Maria. Once you've reached this historic destination, you can admire how the white marble architecture stands out amongst the green lawns of Piazza dei Miracoli. Throughout your tour, your expert guide will accompany you and help you discover the Piazza dei Miracoli and all its most famous monuments. See the famous Baptistry from outside, the monumental cemetery, and the famous Leaning Tower. At the end of your guided tour, you will have free time to relax on the lawn in the shadow of the Tower, or if you prefer, enjoy a spot of shopping amongst the local stores.  If you wish, add to your excursion by purchasing entrance tickets to the Leaning Tower of Pisa whilst boarding your bus.

From Livorno: Florence and Pisa Roundtrip Transfer

4. From Livorno: Florence and Pisa Roundtrip Transfer

During your time in Livorno, take the opportunity to explore two of the most famous cities in Tuscany. Travel on a comfortable tour bus with wi-fi and tips from your tour host. Enjoy free time in Florence and Pisa and discover both of these iconic cities on the same day. First, head to Florence, referred to sometimes as the "cradle of the renaissance". Visit the San Lorenzo market, Piazza del Duomo, Piazza della Signoria, Piazza della Repubblica, and the old bridge. Wander through alleyways set between historic buildings and taste some typical local dishes.  After 3 and a half hours of free time in Florence, continue towards Pisa and take 1 hour and 30 minutes to see the city. Admire the famous monuments at the "meadow of miracles" including the leaning tower. Strike a pose beside the famous monument and snap a photo to help remember your visit.

Florence: Guided Tour by Bike with Gelato Tasting

5. 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.

Florence: Vintage Bike Tour with Gelato Tasting

6. Florence: Vintage Bike Tour with Gelato Tasting

Go where bus tours can't on a guided bike tour of Florence. See more sights in less time with a bike. Pass by top sights like the Palazzo Pitti, Uffizi square, and the Ponte Vecchio bridge. Indulge your sweet tooth with a complimentary gelato. Meet your guide and get set up with your well-maintained vintage bike and a helmet. Glide down pedestrian areas and narrow side streets away from the usual tourist paths. Set off on your ride through the Renaissance city center streets. Visit the 13th-century Basilica of Santa Maria Novella. Take in views of the vast Pitti Palace and admire the vibrantly colored shops on the famed Ponte Vecchio bridge. Gaze at the architecture of the Uffizi square and see the Santa Croce church. Cycle through the Piazza della Signoria and the medieval district. Stop to admire the Duomo and the classical fountains in Piazza della Repubblica. Finish your tour with an tasty gelato while enjoying the bustle of the Oltrarno district. Return to your meeting point at the end of your cycling adventure.

Florence: Santa Maria Novella Private Tour

7. 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

8. 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: Dante’s Self-Guided Audio Smartphone Tour

9. Florence: Dante’s Self-Guided Audio Smartphone Tour

Explore the beautiful city of Florence through the eyes of Dante and imagine life in the middle ages on this self-guided walking tour. See the Church Orsanmichele, House of Dante, and more with your smartphone as a guide. You will receive the download instructions after booking the tour. After downloading the app, visit the Bargello Museum, the Church of Santa Croce, houses in the homonymous square, and a marble monument of the poet.  Explore the network of stone houses and narrow streets of the city while hearing about the medieval city where Dante Alighieri lived. The route continues to Florence Duomo Complex and the famous Santa Maria Novella.  You will hear about all the places that belonged to Dante and his political and religious history. Stroll through the picturesque streets and discover Florence on this fun tour.

Pisa: Day Excursion from Florence

10. 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 

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Other Sightseeing Options in Santa Maria Novella

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What people are saying about Santa Maria Novella

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 1,278 reviews

We thought this was simply going to be an art walking tour, but we felt like we got so much more. Alex was amazing and you can tell he really loves the city and sharing details about it. We saw so many cool images on the street, but also got to see some of the sites and different areas of the city on the same trip. We saw cathedrals, churches, bridges, and the Palazzo Vecchio. We learned about local street artists like Blub and Clet and saw so many different street art images while we walked. We also visited 2 local artist shops where you can view more art and purchase it if you want. There's definitely a lot of walking involved on this tour, but it was one of our favorites on the trip.

This may have been the highlight of my entire trip to Europe. Gorgeous architecture, fascinating history, and a guide who took great care of us. It was a little difficult to find him - meeting instructions were not great - but he ended up pulling into the piazza a few minutes before our scheduled meeting time and it worked out fine.

Carlo Asti and his adorable puppy, Christy, were our perfect introduction to Florence. Carlo even offered to add an extra 30 minutes to our tour in order to take us to Piazza Michelangelo to enjoy the stunning panoramic view of this beautiful city. Carlo was very informative and entertaining. We had a wonderful time.

We enjoyed the electric cart tour through Florence. We were able to visit some locations that might have been difficult for us to access on foot, so we appreciate the experience. Our driver, Simon was very friendly and provided so much interesting information on our tour.

Very professional from start to finish.Guide was excellant.fantastic bus.Good time at destinations.We chose this tour as it was a 5th of the price of the cruise ship one.