This 13th-century church was one of the first Florentine basilicas. It was constructed by the Dominican order to replace a 9th-century oratory dedicated to Santa Maria delle Vigne (hence the “Novello”). The old church was gifted to the Dominicans upon their arrival in Florence, but was deemed too small. The new one was designed with a spaciousness to allow as large a congregation as possible.
At that time, the church was far outside the city’s walls.
Numerous chapels are arranged around the vast nave, with important frescoes, paintings and statues.
The façade was designed by Leon Battista Alberti, a Renaissance scholar and adherent, in the 14th century.
The entrance is through the Cloister of the Dead, which contains Florence’s upper-middle class families’ burial vaults.
Piazza S. Maria Novella 18 – 50123 FirenzeTweet