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Top 8 Most Visited Churches in Florence Italy | Spiritual and Artistic Beauty of Florence

churches-in-Florence-Italy

Florence is regarded as the birthplace of the Renaissance and the epicenter of one of the most important historical eras worldwide and in Italy. The city is not only the location of several works of art, but it is also noted for its architecture, which blends Gothic, Romanesque, and traditional Renaissance design elements, as seen in structures like the Palazzo Pitti, Uffizi Gallery, and the Ponte Vecchio.

Florence is a major player in the fields of art and architecture. Some of the most exquisite churches from the Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance eras may be seen in Florence. Over 100 stunning churches may be found in Florence, a very small city.

The finest Renaissance artists, including Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, Ghirlandaio, Giotto, and Giorgio Vasari, decorated Florence’s churches abundantly. It makes no difference if you practice a religion. These stunning churches in Florence, Italy, will awe you if you appreciate art and architecture.

Let’s look at these magnificent structures, which include well-known structures like the Cathedral and Santa Croce and lesser-known ones like San Lorenzo, San Miniato, and Santa Maria Novella.

I have concentrated on what I believe to be the top 8 most visited churches in Florence, Italy, to help you plan a trip there. It would be best if you visited or included them on your Florence itinerary as they are the most important.

What is the ideal time to visit the churches in Florence, Italy?

In general, weekdays and times outside of the peak travel season are the ideal times to see the churches in Florence, Italy. This includes the good weather and comparatively less crowded months of April through June and September through October.

Additionally, visiting in the early morning or late afternoon offers a more calm and thoughtful experience. The hours of each church should be verified, though, as they may differ. When entering the churches, keep in mind to dress appropriately and show respect for the places’ religious aspects.

Things you should know before visiting the churches?

Dress Code:

Although churches are places of worship, it’s necessary to dress correctly. Avoid wearing caps inside the church, and make sure your clothes cover your shoulders and knees.

Opening Hours:

The churches you intend to visit may have set schedules and restricted access at particular times, so be sure to check their hours of operation. You should schedule your visit accordingly because some churches may close for lunch.

Entrance Fees:

Many of Florence’s churches are open to the public without charge, but others may charge a fee to access particular portions or to view special exhibitions.

Photography:

Some churches permit photography, while others might have limitations. Respect the photography-related signage and instructions supplied by each church, and refrain from using flash as it may disturb the peace.

Best Way to get to the churches in Florence, Italy?

Walking or taking public transport is the two main ways to get to the churches in Florence, Italy. Most churches in Florence’s city center are close to one another and are situated within a small area. This enables you to take in the picturesque streets and find the city’s secret spots as you travel to the cathedrals.

Public Transport:

It is also possible to use public transportation, like buses and trams, to travel to relatively distant churches or to explore places outside of the city center. The tram system and the local ATAF bus network offer dependable travel options throughout Florence.

Private Transport:

If you’d prefer a guided trip, there are additional choices for private transportation and organized tours that let you see several churches quickly and conveniently. These choices can enrich your experience by offering insightful information and historical context.

In this post, we’ve compiled a list of the top 8 most visited churches in Florence, Italy, so you can remove them from your travel to-do list.

#1: Santa Maria Del Fiore | Florence Cathedral:

Santa Maria del Fiore, also known as Florence Cathedral, is one of Italy’s most famous landmarks and one of the most visited churches in Florence, Italy. The Duomo is a spectacular building constructed over 172 years, beginning in 1296. The task was given to the accomplished architect Arnolfo di Cambio, who, in the 13th and 14th centuries, was in charge of designing many of the city’s well-known structures.

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Florence, which means “lily flower” in Italian, is represented by the cathedral, officially known as the Cathedral of Santa Maria della Fiore or St. Mary of the Flowers. The cathedral’s name was inspired by the city’s moniker and symbol, St. Mary of the Flowers, even though there isn’t a real saint by that name.

The Duomo was the world’s largest (and longest) cathedral for two centuries. After St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, it is now the third largest structure in the world. The focal point is the spectacular terra cotta-colored dome by Filippo Brunelleschi, which was started in 1418.

The focal point is the spectacular terra cotta-colored dome by Filippo Brunelleschi, which was started in 1418. Brunelleschi was the ideal synthesis of an engineer, an architect, a visionary, and a purist. Santa Maria Del Fiore’s interior is sterile and nearly empty, unlike the exterior, which is charmingly “frosted” with colored marble.

Ticket Prices and Open Hours:

Monday – Saturday from 10:15 AM to 4:15 PM.
Closed: Sunday and public holidays.

Visiting the interior of Florence Cathedral is free.

#2 Basilica of Santa Maria Novella:

Santa Maria Novella church ranked number two on our list of the top 8 visited churches in Florence, Italy, and was constructed by Dominican monks between the 1200s and 1300s, it is best renowned for its white and green marble facade, which Leon Battista Alberti created a century after the original structure was finished.

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Its unusual shape was created by architect Leon Battista Alberti by fusing Romanesque-Gothic and Renaissance styles. The interior also has characteristics of both styles, mixing the Renaissance’s open design with the Gothic height. The oldest window in Florence is the rose window; Florentine artists are represented throughout the interior.

The Crucifixion scene over the door in the sacristy is an early Giotto work from around 1290. The celebrated wooden crucifix by Brunelleschi (1410-1425), the first representation of Christ without a loincloth and the artist’s equivalent of Donatello’s realistic, peasant-like Christ in Santa Croce, is located in the adjacent Cappella Gondi.

Between 1486 and 1490, Domenico Ghirlandaio and his helpers entirely frescoed the apse. The final major cycle of frescoes from the 15th century, including images from John the Baptist and the Virgin’s life, has been exquisitely restored to their original soft, bright colors.

The chapel is just a short stroll from Florence’s main train station and overlooks Piazza Santa Maria Novella, one of the city’s largest historical squares. You can discover more about the history of the structure and the monks who established the church by visiting its cloisters and museum with your admission ticket, which also grants you access to the building complex.

Ticket Prices and Open Hours:

Santa Maria Novella is open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM every day except Sunday.

Sunday 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Tickets Palazzo Pitti, from 7.50 EUR for Adults and Children aged 11 to 18 years 5.00 EUR.

#3 Santa Croce:

East of Florence’s old town is where the Basilica of Santa Croce is situated on a sizable piazza. It is the largest Franciscan church in the world and was constructed in the spectacular Gothic architectural style in the 13th century. It is also home to several chapels, frescoes, and other artwork that eloquently reflect the religious and cultural traditions of Florence.

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The inside is exquisitely adorned, with lovely golden paintings and an altar that glitters above the natural light that enters via its mosaic windows. Along with being the location of Michelangelo and Galileo’s tombs, the area is also well-known for its Giotto frescoes.

Ticket Prices and Open Hours:

Santa Croce is open from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM every day except Sunday.

Sunday 12:30 PM to 5:45 PM

Tickets, from 8 EUR for Adults and Children aged 11 to 17 years 6.00 EUR.

#4 Basilica Di San Lorenzo:

The stunning Basilica of San Lorenzo is more well-known, even though Santa Croce has the better art collection. The San Lorenzo church served as the Medici family’s official church. Between 1520 and 1534, Michelangelo himself created the stunningly beautiful Medici Chapel.

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The chapel’s coffered dome is reminiscent of the Pantheon in Rome. Pink, green, gold and white marble cover the walls. As one of the first churches constructed in the city, the Basilica of San Lorenzo is one of the most churches in Florence, Italy.

To support Republican forces in a civil war, Michelangelo went back to Florence in 1527. When Florence was conquered, Michelangelo withdrew into a hidden chamber beneath the Medici Chapel, where he remained until he received confirmation of a pardon from Pope Clement VII, a Medici.

The Medici family chapels, the cloisters, and the Medici Laurenziana Library may all be found inside this cathedral, a complex of buildings. It is also a great place to go if you have already visited and loved the city’s largest church because it is just a short stroll from Florence’s Duomo.

Ticket Prices and Open Hours:

The Basilica di San Lorenzo is open to the public every day except Sunday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Tickets from 9 EUR for Adults and Children aged 18 to 25 are 2 EUR, and up to 18 years are free.

#5 Basilica Di Santo Spirito:

The Basilica of Santo Spirito, one of Florence’s best churches, is located in the Oltrarno district if you visit the city’s southern region. This church is one of the most well-known attractions in Florence’s Oltrarno neighborhood, home to numerous galleries and piazzas spread across its three ancient sections.

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Brunelleschi’s name frequently comes up when discussing historic and most visited churches in Florence, Italy. He was solely responsible for designing and constructing this church, which has a majestic Renaissance interior and a rather plain façade. His inspiration for the church’s design came from how it interacted with the surrounding environment, which is why the structure has simple lines and a beautiful shape.

The church, constructed in 1440, is a key early Renaissance structure. Brunelleschi was one of the first architects to apply perspective and geometry and depart from obsolete medieval church designs.

Brunelleschi believed that harmony and precise mathematics were the sources of beauty. He designed an unpretentious façade and a very harsh interior, drawing inspiration from the classicism of ancient Rome.

A wooden crucifix ascribed to Michelangelo is kept in Santo Spirito. He was only 17 when he began carving it. In the sacristy, it currently hangs 22 meters high after being restored. An enormous crucifixion scene is painted atop an extremely old The Last Supper fresco in Santo Spirito’s former Augustinian refectory. But it’s broken up and in terrible shape.

Ticket Prices and Open Hours:

Santo Spirito is open from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM daily.

Sunday 11:30 PM to 5:45 PM

Tickets, from 2 EUR for Adults

#6 Basilica Di San Miniato Al Monte:

Visit the magnificent and well-preserved Church of San Miniato al Monte if you are at Piazzale Michelangelo by walking for 5 minutes. It is Florence’s finest achievement and is considerably higher with a superior outlook. Construction started in 1018. The church is older than a thousand years, just like the Baptistry.

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The church is named after Minias, the first martyr of Florence, an Armenian prince. According to legend, Minias soared to the church by picking up his severed head and flying over the Arno. The saint’s church is called San Miniato.

San Miniato features the iconic white and green marble facade of Florence. It is a beautiful example of Tuscan Romanesque architecture and a very distinctive structure in Florence.

A stunning interior greets you as you enter through the turquoise doors. The church is covered in geometric patterns, gold leaf, or mosaics.

The apse’s half dome is embellished with an impressive mosaic. The zodiac signs are painted on the marble floor. At Vespers, Gregorian chants are still sung by the monks of San Miniato in a tiny chapel at the back of the cathedral.

Ticket Prices and Open Hours:

Tickets: It’s free.

Monday to Saturday, 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Sunday, 8:15 PM to 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM

#7 Basilica of Santa Maria del Carmine:

In 1771, a fire largely destroyed Santa Maria del Carmine. The sacristy and the transept chapels escaped the flames. High baroque architecture was used to virtually fully reconstruct the Carmelite church. For the Brancacci Chapel, you come here.

A great example of early Renaissance art is the Brancacci Chapel. Masaccio and his studio’s frescoes cover the entire interior. Along with the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican Museums and Giotto’s Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, it is regarded as one of the three key chapels of the Renaissance.

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The fresco cycle was ordered in 1424 by Felice Brancacci, a Medici foe. They were meant to represent St. Peter’s life, from Adam’s original sin through Man’s salvation. The frescoes were finished by Fillipino Lippi after the passing of Masaccio.

Another Masaccio masterwork that is a must-see is The Expulsion of Adam and Eve From Eden, which is located just to the left of The Tribute Money. The outcasts are exiled by an armed angel. Eve sobs and Adam seems humiliated. This painting conveys emotion.

Ticket Prices and Open Hours:

Tickets: 13 EUR for Adults

Monday to Saturday: · 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 3:00 PM to 5:30 PM

 Sunday:  8:15 PM to 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM

#8 Orsanmichele | Cube Shape Church

The Orsanmichele church is last but not least on our list of the 10 most visited churches in Florence, Italy. The Orsanmichele church is pretty distinctive in terms of architecture; it stands out from a lot of the other churches you’re going to see in Florence. The structure was first used as an oratory for the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Michael. Subsequently, it served as a loggia (a space with an open wall) for a market until it was destroyed by fire in the 13th century.

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A pillar that had been painted with a picture of the “Madonna of the Graces” before the original structure was demolished is supposed to have been responsible for countless miraculous occurrences. The Orsanmichele was constructed once more in the 14th century as a market and grain storage facility, but pilgrims continued to visit the site. Thus it was ultimately decided to convert the area into a religious structure.

The Orsanmichele is well-known for the collection of saint statues that several Florence guilds wished to embellish the church’s exterior erected in niches on each of the structure’s four sides. Famous Renaissance artists created numerous of them in the 15th century, albeit many originals have since vanished.

Ticket Prices and Open Hours:

Tickets: Free

Weekdays: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Holidays: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Monday: Closed

Some More Churches in Florence, Italy, worth visiting:

San Marco Monastery:

San Marco was Florence’s first convent built in the Renaissance style. It was constructed between 1438 and 1443 on the site of two deteriorating medieval monasteries. Cosimo commissioned Michelozzo, an architect, to rebuild the monastery for this significant task.

Capella Dei Magi:

The Medici-Riccardi Palace, the first of the family’s three palace residences, is where the Chapel of the Magi is found. The palace itself is a rather ominous structure made of rusticated stone.

A stunning collection of frescoes created by Benozzo Gozzoli in 1459 adorn the chapel. Gozzoli gained a delightful storytelling style through his training under Ghiberti and Fra Angelico.

Sant’Apollonia:

The Last Supper by Andrea del Castagno is the focus of the Museo Sant’Apollonia. It is a masterwork that is almost unknown. The refectory of Florence’s Sant’Apollonia monastery from the 15th century, which is close to San Marco Monastery, features this enormous beauty on one wall.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my guide to the top 8 most visited churches in Florence, Italy.

 FAQs:

Is the site accessible to visitors with disabilities?

Free admission is provided for visitors with disabilities and their caretakers, who may enter the area through the ramp at the basilica’s side or the raised platform near the entrance.

Can I take photographs while I visit churches in Italy?

Except during religious services, you can take pictures for personal use without a flash or a tripod.

Do you have to buy a ticket if you only want to pray or attend Mass?

Anyone seeking to pray or visit a religious service is welcome without paying admission. Throughout the opening hours, our staff is on hand to direct worshippers to the door designated for them and accompany them to the designated prayer area.

Is there a luggage facility available inside the churches?

While trolleys and umbrellas are permitted inside the property, there isn’t a cloakroom or other place to leave luggage specifically. Please refrain from letting trolley cases touch the ground when using them to protect the gravestones that line the basilica’s floor.

How long is a ticket valid to visit a church in Italy?

Your ticket can only be used once to visit the location within the designated period. We kindly ask you to arrive on time because admission is limited due to timed quotas as part of our effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. If you arrive more than 15 minutes late, staff will consider how many other people have reserved that time slot before deciding whether or not to admit you.

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