Guided Tours at an Unbeatable Price

Santa Maria Novella Basilica

With the arrival of autumn, the association MUS.E is offering residents and tourists guided tours at many state-run museums in Santo Spirito, San Frediano and Santa Maria Novella every day in October except Tuesday at a nominal fee. The tour costs €2 for residents and €4 for non-residents, in addition to the standard entry price.

The Brancacci Chapel (Santa Maria del Carmine, Piazza del Carmine) is a true and authentic treasure reflecting the Renaissance art history of Florence. It was constructed by Felice Brancacci (1386) and contains one of the greatest works of art of that era, an extensive mural by the masters Masolino, Masaccio and Filippino Lippi.

Visitors will see the St. Peter’s Sermon, a fresco painted by Masolino, based on a scene of the St. Peter story in the New Testament.  Tours beginning at 10 am and 2 pm on Mondays through to Saturdays last a total of 50 minutes and entry price is €6, (€4.50 for students).

Santa Maria Novella Church (Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, 18) is the first great basilica in Florence and the city’s principal Dominican church. Through this guided visit the public will learn of the remarkable history of the Dominican order in Florence.

Among the works of art depicted in the basilica, one by the artist Masaccio stands out: the Holy Trinity. It is believed to be one of his last major commissions and considered one of his masterpieces. The fresco depicts the members of the Trinity who are inside a Renaissance chapel where Christ is nailed to a cross and supported by God the Father.

Masaccio uses linear perspective through the characters that are carefully placed in the form of a pyramid – with God the Father at the top, to the Florentine donors on the bottom. The one point perspective focuses the attention on Christ, the centre point, with the fading background of the altar. The painting is placed above the depiction of a tomb, creating a momento mori (reminder of death).

The tour will last 1hr 15 minutes and will run on the following times:

Mondays 10:30 am & 3 pm

Wednesdays, Fridays & Sundays at 2:30 pm.

Residents are eligible for free entry and tourists are welcome at €7 per person, (€5 for over 65s).

There will also be the opportunity of visiting the Monastery, Convent and Chapel of the Popes in the Santa Maria Complex (Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, 18).  The guests will tour the Spanish Chapel (a room where the monastic community used to hold regular meetings). Now, it is famous for the fresco, Exaltation of the Dominican Order designed by Andrea di Bonaiuto (1365-1367), which was created as a form of ideological strengthening of the Dominican order.

The tour will also last 1hr 15 minutes and will take place during the following times:

Mondays & Saturdays 12 pm

Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays 4 pm.

The entry fee will be the same as that for the Basilica.

The Santo Spirito Complex is another influential building in Florentine history; it became the centre of scholarly activities and was associated with early humanism in Florence. The Santo Spirito area was physically and politically separate from the rest of Florence and was home to many important, ancient families such as the Capponi, Soderini and Frescobaldi.

The guided visit will begin at the refectory, which hosts two millennia of the most fascinating medieval and Renaissance sculpture fragments donated by the antique dealer Salvatore Romano. The pieces in the collection range from the time of the Imperial Rome to the Renaissance era.

Following this, the public will be able to appreciate the peculiarity of the interior design of the basilica, while discovering the art of painters such as Maso di Banco, Cosimo Rosselli and Filippino Lippi.

Tours taking place every Monday and Saturday at 11:30 am and 3:30 pm will last 1 hr 15 minutes and entry fee to the building costs €6, (€5 for students). (karen gee)

For more information visit the Mus.e Firenze website. Booking is required and can be done by emailing