Piazza di Santa Maria Novella Tours

With its beautiful grassy expanses and Renaissance basilica of Santa Maria Novella, Florence’s Piazza di Santa Maria Novella is beloved by Florentines and visitors alike. The centrally located square, lined with historic townhouses, restaurants, and cafés, has been a popular gathering place for 800 years.

The Basics
Piazza di Santa Maria Novella was built in the late 13th century and quickly became a center of Florentine life. Over the centuries, a number of festivals and tournaments were held here, and the two large obelisks sitting atop four bronze turtles by Giambologna that still decorate the square’s center were erected in the 1500s as marks for chariot races. One of Florence’s most beautiful churches, Santa Maria Novella, dominates this busy square, which is also home to the former Hospital of San Paolo, famous for its loggia decorated with majolica reliefs by Andrea della Robbia.

Many private or small-group Florence walking tours and tours by Segway or electric bike include a stop in Piazza di Santa Maria Novella along with visits to highlights like the Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio, the Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell'Accademia), Piazzale Michelangelo, the Florence Duomo, and Santa Croce (Basilica di Santa Croce). Another unique way to experience the piazza is by joining a street-food tour that stops at the cafés and gelato shops around the square.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • With its large open spaces, gelato shops, and public benches, Piazza di Santa Maria Novella is a convenient stop for kids.
  • Santa Maria Novella also has a pretty cloister and historic pharmacy selling herbal teas, perfumes, and soaps just off the square.
  • Most cultural and food tours of the historic center of Florence and Piazza di Santa Maria Novella are on foot, so choose comfortable shoes and bring a sun hat.
  • This public square is pedestrian only and perfectly flat, so easy to access with a wheelchair or stroller.

How to Get There
Piazza di Santa Maria Novella is in the historic center of Florence, just across the street from the city’s main train station that shares its name.

When to Get There
The square is particularly lovely at night, when Florentines gather for an evening stroll with their gelato against the backdrop of the illuminated church facade.

The Santa Maria Novella Church
In addition to its magnificent 15th-century facade designed by Leon Battista Alberti, this Renaissance monument is home to artistic masterpieces by Masaccio, Filippino Lippi, Brunelleschi, and Giotto in addition to Domenico Ghirlandaio’s beautiful Tornabuoni Chapel.
Location
Address: Florence, Tuscany, Italy, Italy
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13 Tours & Activities to Experience

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Private Tour: Electric Bike Experience of Florence

Explore the Renaissance charm of Florence the easy and eco-friendly way on a private, 2-hour electric bike tour. Cruise through winding medieval streets and squares on a battery-boosted e-bike, passing by highlights like the Santa Croce Church, Piazza Duomo, the San Lorenzo Market and the banks of the River Arno. Effortlessly scale the hills around the city to take in spectacular panoramic views from romantic Piazzale Michelangelo, and enjoy the flexibility to stop often for photos.
  • Duration: 2 hours
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$61.32 USD
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  • Duration: 2 hours
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$61.32 USD

Santa Maria Novella Private Tour

Step inside one of Florence’s spiritual gems with a guided tour of the Santa Maria de Novella church, a Gothic-Renaissance design that’s steeped in centuries of Florentine history. Admire evocative frescoes and devotional sculptures by Giotto, Brunelleschi, and Ghirlandaio that decorate the chapels while a guide explains their meaning and importance. For a sensory treat that combines the feel of a medieval apothecary with the fragrance of luxury Italian perfume, browse elixirs and bath products in the little-known pharmacy tucked within the church walls.
  • Duration: 3 hours
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$42.92 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
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$42.92 USD

Private Tour: Florence Walking Tour

Stroll through the heart of the Renaissance on this 3-hour walking tour of Florence, led by a private guide. Explore top sites such as the Piazza della Signoria, the Palazzo Vecchio and the iconic Ponte Vecchio. Follow your private guide through the city streets and learn the rich history and culture of the Florentines. Since your tour is private, it can be customized to your particular interests in architecture, art, sculpture and more.
  • Duration: 3 hours
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$16.24 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
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$16.24 USD

Legends of Florence 2-Hour Walking Tour by Night

Take a stroll under the stars to discover the hidden secrets and shadowy corners of Florence. On this 2-hour walking tour, hear Renaissance legends and supernatural tales while wandering through romantic piazzas and dimly lit alleyways. See the city’s iconic landmarks illuminated beneath the cloak of night as you uncover a side of Florence not found in any guidebook.
  • Duration: 2 hours
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$40.60 USD
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  • Duration: 2 hours
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$40.60 USD

Florence Walking Tour Including Aperitivo

Discover Renaissance legends and layers of romantic history on a 2-hour walking tour of Florence. Stroll through the medieval city center with a knowledgeable guide, who will point out hidden gems and share insights into the city’s artistic and architectural legacy. Stop for a traditional Italian aperitif at a café, and soak up the scenery of daily life passing through a local piazza.
  • Duration: 2 hours
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$18.56 USD
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  • Duration: 2 hours
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$18.56 USD

Florence Gourmet Tour: Art and Food

Walk through Florence’s most beautiful and delectable quarters on this 3-hour food and culture tour. Stroll past stacks of fresh produce and Italian gourmet products at the San Lorenzo market, stopping to sample local specialties like sweet almond cookies, Chianti wine, salami, and Pecorino cheese. Then head to some of the city’s most prized Renaissance treasures, including Piazza della Signoria and the Duomo, and finish with tastings of traditional Florentine peasant food.
  • Duration: 3 hours
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$40.60 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
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$40.60 USD

Small-Group Luxury Truffle and Olive Oil Food Tour with a Gourmet Dinner

Treat your taste buds to some of Italy’s most prized culinary products with this gourmet tasting tour and dinner in Florence. Sample an array of Tuscan delicacies like truffle bruschetta, extra virgin olive oil and reserve Prosecco with a foodie guide, and  then gather around a private chef’s table for a homecooked, 3-course dinner of regional specialties. Tour size is limited to eight for a more personalized, small-group experience.
  • Duration: 4 hours
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$185.60 USD
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  • Duration: 4 hours
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$185.60 USD

Florence City Bike Tour and Ice Cream Tasting

Enjoy a guided tour of Florence on two wheels with this bike tour. Explore the Tuscan capital by bike with a gelato stop included.
  • Duration: 3 hours
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$40.60 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
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$40.60 USD

Florence Safari Kids Tour

If you are a family with kids and you wish to take a fun tour of the city, this is the perfect tour for you! With our private licensed and child friendly guide, you will walk through the alleys and streets of Florence to discover the secrets and legends hidden behind statues and palaces. A walking tour of 3 hours that allow you and your kids to discover Florence with the eyes of a little kid.
  • Duration: 3 hours
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$46.40 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
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$46.40 USD

Florence Private Tour For Kids: A Safari Experience

Take part in a family-friendly Florence "safari" on this half-day private tour. With a guide in the lead and kids participating, hunt down different coats of arms, statues, animals, and symbols that serve as introductions to Florentine culture. This treasure hunt comes complete with commentary focused on kids to get them learning and keep them interested.
  • Duration: 3 hours
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$46.40 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
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$46.40 USD

Personal Vacation and Travel Photographer Tour in Florence

No more selfies or pestering strangers for photos of yourself and loved ones, enjoy the services of a professional vacation photographer in Florence to capture your travels in a contemporary and candid style. Specialising in delivering quality photography with photographers all over the world, we guarantee you amazing photos to remember your travels. All images shown were taken by our photographers.
  • Duration: 3 hours
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$256.32 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
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$256.32 USD

Private Tour: Fashion and Perfumes Tour in Florence

Explore Florence’s most stylish district on a private, 4-hour tour. Stroll through Santa Maria Novella square and down Via Tornabuoni, home to a plethora of luxury boutiques and high fashion houses. Learn about the area’s history and highlights from a savvy local guide, and catch a whiff of fine Italian perfume at Europe’s oldest pharmacy. After working up an appetite walking, settle into a reserved table at a typical Florentine restaurant to enjoy your choice of an aperitif or a light 2-course lunch.
  • Duration: 2 to 3 hrs
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$116.00 USD
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  • Duration: 2 to 3 hrs
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$116.00 USD

Safari Tour Of Florence For Kids

Our 3 hours Safari Tour of Florence for Kids is an interactive and engaging tour. With your child friendly guide you will walk through the beauties of Florence such as Signoria Square, Uffizi Square, Palazzo vecchio, Bronze Pig and many others. Your tour is a Safari through these sites looking for animals and statue on them.
  • Duration: 3 hours
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$46.40 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
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$46.40 USD


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