Visiting the Santa Maria Novella Neighborhood

Already know the beauties of Florence’s Santa Maria Novella district? Come discover the area!

Out of Florence’s four historic city districts, Santa Maria Novella is one of two that stretch along the Arno’s right bank, located west of the San Giovanni neighborhood.

It’s the first neighborhood to greet visitors after arriving at the area’s namesake railway station (by train or tram, line 1). The station connects the historic center to the Scandicci area and the convenient Villa Costanza parking zone on highway A1. This neighborhood is truly full of marvels to discover.


The Exhibition Center

First and foremost, the Santa Maria Novella neighborhood contains the city's main exhibition center, a complex formed by the Palazzo dei Congressi, the Palazzo degli Affari and the Fortezza da Basso. Here, year after year the center hosts world famous events, such as the renowned Pitti Uomo and the International Handicraft Fair, which attract thousands of visitors worldwide. 


Religious buildings

The neighborhood’s fulcrum is undoubtedly the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, one of the city’s most important churches and an extraordinary example of Florentine Gothic architecture. Today the church is part of a larger museum complex (the Santa Maria Novella Museum), which besides the Basilica also gives access to the magnificent surrounding structures, such as the Grand Cloister and the Green Cloister. Among the other places of worship in the neighborhood, be sure not to miss the Santa Trinita Basilica (piazza di Santa Trinita) and the Church of Santi Michele e Gaetano (piazza Antinori), each located at one end of via de’ Tornabuoni. Last but not least, consider visiting the Church of Ognissanti featuring a Last Supper by Domenico Ghirlandaio (borgo Ognissanti, 42).


Museums

This neighborhood also contains some of the city’s most important museums. More specifically, those dedicated to modern and contemporary art, such as the Museo Novecento (piazza Santa Maria Novella, 10) vaunting a collection of 20th-century works in an innovative layout, the Marino Marini Museum (piazza di S. Pancrazio), featuring the contemporary Tuscan artist’s many works, and Palazzo Strozzi (piazza degli Strozzi) which rotates classical art exhibitions with modern and contemporary art exhibitions, making it one of the most important exhibition spaces in Italy.
Besides these magnificent spaces, the neighborhood is also home to the Museum of Palazzo Davanzati (via Porta Rossa, 13), where you’ll find a reconstruction of a medieval Florentine home, and finally, Museo Ferragamo (Palazzo Spini Feroni, piazza di Santa Trinita, 5 / R), where you can dive headfirst into the history of Italian fashion and the Ferragamo brand.


Shopping

It’s easy to lose yourself among the streets of the Santa Maria Novella neighborhood, between via de 'Tornabuoni, via della Vigna Nuova and piazza della Repubblica... the streets offer a wide and varied selection of offerings for all budgets and tastes.
You’ll find high-end clothing and accessories in a range of upscale fashion stores, but also more affordable clothing and unique goodies. If you’re looking for something really out of the ordinary, head to the Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella (via della Scala, 16), one of the city’s most beautiful historic pharmacies. Here, you can buy perfumes, soaps and essential oils prepared using the pharmacy’s age-old recipes – all inside an environment that exudes the air of Florence’s rich history and traditions.

Monuments and attractions

Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi

The Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi is a dynamic cultural centre that hosts an extensive programme of exhibitions.

Churches and Cathedrals

Museum of Santa Maria Novella

Visit the remarkable Santa Maria Novella Museum, a unique journey through the striking spaces of the monumental ...

Museums

Museo Novecento

Old Florence meets modern art in the Museo Novecento. Here, the fusion of contemporary art and Renaissance Flor ...

Museums

Firenzecard and Firenzecard+

With one card, you'll gain priority access to most of Florence’s cultural treasures with no need to make a rese ...

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