Florence / Attractions / Famous churches in Florence

Famous churches in Florence Italy

The most beautiful and best churches and basilicas in Firenze

churches in Florence

Florence is a city full of beautiful churches. Not only the famous Duomo and Santa Croce, but also many other beautiful churches Firenze has to offer:

Florence, a city of famous churches

Not only Rome is a city, where you can see churches on every street corner. Florence also has a number of famous and beautiful churches. The most famous church in Florence has to be the Santa Maria del Fiore or Il Duomo di Firenze. This church dominates the streets of Firenze with its large dome and beautiful facade. Also names like Santa Croce, Santa Maria Novella and the San Miniato al Monte will ring a bell with many tourists. Besides these four mentioned Florence churches that you should not miss during your city break Firenze has even more interesting churches to offer, which are more than worth a visit.

1. Basilica di San Lorenzo: the church of the Medici

Basilica of San LorenzoBasilica di San Lorenzo
Church in FlorenceBasilica di San Lorenzo

The Basilica of St. Lawrence in Florence has long served as the parish church of the Medici banking family, as a result of which a number of members of this family are buried in this church as well as the artist Donatello. In 1419 Brunelleschi was commissioned to build the church in the classical Renaissance style. Michelangelo designed the Medici burial chambers (Cappelle Medicee) as well as the Biblioteca, which houses the family's collection of manuscripts. Characteristic for the basilica are the orange domes designed by Buontalenti, the garden at the cloister with box hedges and orange and garnet trees and the various beautiful works of art, including The Martyrdom of San Lorenzo of Bronzino. The bronze pulpits in the nave belong to one of Donatello's latest works.

Visiting this complex consists of two parts with separate tickets. Firstly, the popular funerary chapels of the Cappelle Medicee (more info) and the basilica of San Lorenzo itself. For the latter, you must also purchase your own tickets with which you can visit the church, crypt with museum and monastery.

  • Admission basilica: 8.50 € (free entry with Firenzecard)
  • Hours basilica: Monday - Friday - Saturday 10:00 am - 5:30 pm and Tuesday - Wednesday - Thursday 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

More info Medici Chapels

2. Santa Maria del Carmine with the Cappella Brancacci

Santa Maria del CarmineThe Santa Maria del Carmine church
Capella BrancacciCapella Brancacci

The Santa Maria del Carmine Church is located in the Florentine district of Oltrarno and was founded in 1268 by a group of Carmelite monks. Only a few Romanesque-Gothic elements remain of the original building, as the rest was devoured by a fire in 1771. Fortunately, the famous Capella Brancacci was preserved in this fire. Over the centuries, the church has been expanded several times and renovated in a Baroque style in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The façade has always remained unfinished. In the Santa Maria del Carmine you will find the Corsini chapel, where members of the richest family in Florence in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Corsinis, are buried.

The Cappella Brancacci

The Santa Maria del Carmine is especially famous for the Cappella Brancacci. In this chapel you will find frescoes about the life of Peter. Masolino began painting in 1425, but his student Masaccio painted a large number of scenes. Masaccio died before the chapel was finished and his work was completed by Lippi. The frescoes are especially famous for the painter's perspective that was used and the realism that emerged in them. These elements were new at the time.

  • Admission: Entrance to the church is free. You can buy separate tickets for the Cappelle Brancacci from 8.00 € (free entry with Firenzecard).
  • Hours: Monday / Wednesday / Thursday / Friday / Saturday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm and Sunday and public holidays: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

3. San Salvatore in Ognissanti: parish church of Vespucci

church FlorenceSan Salvatore in Ognissanti
Florence churchSan Salvatore in Ognissanti

The Chiesa di San Salvatore in Ognissanti is located in the center of Florence and originally dates from 1250. The church is dedicated to ogni santi or every Saint, known and unknown. In 1627 the church was almost completely rebuilt in Baroque style by Bartolomeo Pettirossi. Ten years later, a new facade for the church was also built by Matteo Nigetti. The Chiesa Ognissanti was one of the first churches in the Renaissance Florence in Baroque style. The campanile (tower) of the church was built in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The Ognissanti is best known for being the parish church of the Vespucci family. The explorer Amerigo Vespucci, after whom the continent of America is named, is depicted in Ghirlandaio's fresco Madonna della Misericordia. Ghirlandaio's last supper can be found in the monastery next to the church.

  • Admission: Free
  • Hours: Daily 9:30 am - 12:30 pm and 4:00 pm - 7:15 pm (closed Wednesday afternoon)

4. Orsanmichele: a Florence church in cube shape

Orsanmichele FlorenceOrsanmichele in the shopping street of Florence
Orsanmichele FirenzeOrsanmichele

The Orsanmichele is located in the middle of a shopping street in Florence, Via Calzaiuoli, and therefore has a rather unusual shape. It is cube-shaped and consists of three floors. The original chapel dates back to 750 and was then called San Michele in Orto because it was located in the gardens of the adjacent monastery. After this, the Orsanmichele was converted into a grain exchange and only then into a church. Although the windows are bricked up, you can see the Gothic tracery. The decoration of the church was the responsibility of the main guilds in Florence. In approximately sixty years the guilds had statues made of their patron saints, which they placed in the niches on the outside. These images are now copies of the original. Artists like Ghiberti and Donatello made them.

  • Admission: Church + Museum, from 11 € (Book tickets online)
  • Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 8.30 am 6.30 pm and Sunday 8.30 am - 1.30 pm

5. The Great Synagogue and Museo Ebraico

The Synagogue of FlorenceThe Synagogue of Florence
Synagogue of FlorenceThe Synagogue of Florence

Anyone who has ever been to Florence has discovered a blue dome on the orange skyline. This dome belongs to the Great Synagogue, the construction of which started in 1874. The first building stone to be laid was even taken from Jerusalem. In eight years, the construction of the synagogue was completed, entirely in Moorish style. Marco Treves, Mariano Falcini and Vincenzo Micheli were the designers of the synagogue. The white and pink rock on the outside was extracted from Assissi, among others. Inside, richly colored frescoes and mosaics dominate. On the third floor you will find a small museum: Museo Ebraico. Here you can view ritual objects and clothing, which are still worn during the shul. You can also view Torah documents that survived the 1966 flood.

6. Basilica della Santissima Annunziata

Florence churchesBasilica della Santissima Annunziata
Basilica della Santissima AnnunziataBasilica della Santissima Annunziata

The Basilica della Santissima Annunziata, or previously called the Santa Maria della Scala, is a church founded by the serviette order of 1250. In the period 1444 and 1481 the church was renovated by Michelozzo. In the atrium you will find some famous frescoes by the Mannerist painters Rosso Fiorentiono, Jacopo Pontormo and Andrea del Sarto. The most famous work is The Journey of the Magi and The Birth of Mary , both by Del Sarto. The basilica has a dark interior, but is richly decorated. The basilica is best known for the painting of Mary by monk Bartolomeo, which began in 1252 and was completed by an angel. Thus goes the legend according to the devout believers. Another famous element of the church is the Chiostrino dei Morti, the cloister of the dead. This cloister was so called because it was used as a burial ground for a long time. Now the hall is known for the fresco by Del Sarto. It is in the Santissima Annunziata tradition for newlywed couples to give flowers to Maria.

  • Admission: Free
  • Hours: Daily 7:30 am - 12:30 pm and 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm; also on public holidays from 8:45 pm to 9:45 pm

7. Basilica di Santo Spirito Firenze

Basilica di Santo SpiritoBasilica di Santo Spirito
Churches FirenzeThe last supper in Basilica di Santo Spirito

The Basilica Santa Maria del Santo Spirito is located in the Oltrarno district and was founded in 1250 by the Augustinian monks. The church was renovated and the current construction is due to Brunelleschi, who started the renovation in 1435. The facade of the eighteenth century church has never been completed. The interior is a harmonious whole, which is only disturbed by the baroque canopy and the high altar. The church has no fewer than 38 side altars, which are decorated with paintings and sculptures from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. You will see work by Ghirlandaio and Lippi. For example, in the Nerli Chapel you will find Lippi's Madonna and Child. Also known is the cassette ceiling from 1491 by Simone del Pollaiuolo.

  • Admission: The church is free, but entrance fee is 2 euros to admire the painting of the Santo Spirito and the 'Young Michelangelo'
  • Hours: Every day from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm. On Wednesdays the church is closed and on Sundays the church does not open until 11:30 am.
  • Website

8. Classical concert or opera in a church

Churches in Firenze
Our readers say
4.8 (95.83%) 8 reviews
May 19, 2024 : "We had a fantastic holiday in Florence city and Tuscany because of the interesting tips for sightseeing, tours and activities in Florence Italy."