Since 1278 the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella has welcomed tourists in the city with its grandeur, its geometric colour tones and its treasures of inestimable value... plus a few curiosities!
If you are a fan of Robert Langdon, the character made famous by the pen of Dan Brown (who set his book Inferno in Florence), don’t miss the opportunity to have fun discovering the little known secrets of one of the most ancient monuments in Florence. The façade, for instance, which is admired every day by thousands of tourists, is adorned with two curious objects: an armillary sphere and a sundial. These are two astronomical instruments that were installed at the time of Grand Duke Cosimo I by Padre Egnazio Danti, the illustrious mathematician, astronomer and cosmographer, who used the armillary sphere and the solar clock to conduct studies with a view to establishing the new calendar.
The Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, already in itself a real treasure of architecture, contains numerous works of inestimable value, such as the fresco by Masaccio depicting the Trinity, the Crucifix by Brunelleschi and the one by Giotto. And this would already be enough to indicate its monumental historical-artistic importance to you. But it doesn’t end there! To the left of the façade, in fact, you enter the museum and the cloisters, which complete the entire complex of the Basilica: the Green Cloister takes its name from the dominant colour in the frescos, while on the opposite side of the main entrance you access the Spanish Chapel, which takes its name from the role it performed in the Middle Ages as a site for the religious functions of Eleonor of Toledo.