7 Most Famous Churches in Florence, Italy: Must Visit List

Florence’s churches are not just places of worship, but also architectural masterpieces that hold centuries of history and art. On your travels, exploring these famous churches in Florence, Italy is a must to fully immerse yourself in the city’s rich culture and beauty. When I was living in Florence, I visited as many churches as I could. Not only did I appreciate the stunning architecture and intricate artwork, but it was quite peaceful visiting them. From breathtaking architecture to the tombs of legends, here’s a list of the 7 most famous churches in Florence, Italy. If you’re visiting Florence, you don’t want to miss these!

1. Basilica di Santa Croce: Where Legends Rest

Basilica di Santa Croce is one of the most famous churches in Florence, and for good reason. Imagine visiting Michelangelo’s final resting place – it gave me chills! This Gothic-style church is also home to the tombs of Galileo, Machiavelli, and other Italian legends. The frescoes by Giotto and the beautiful architecture inside are an absolute must see.

Tips for visiting Basilica di Santa Croce:

  • Arrive early! Being one of the most famous churches in Florence, Basilica di Santa Croce can get crowded quickly. To avoid long entrance lines and enjoy a more peaceful experience, try to arrive early in the morning when it opens.
  • Take a guided tour. While exploring the basilica on your own can be enjoyable, taking a guided tour will enhance your experience even more! A knowledgeable guide can provide insights into the history, art, and architecture of the basilica that you might not have known otherwise.
  • Dress appropriately. Remember that this is a religious site, so it’s important to dress respectfully.

2. Duomo Di Firenze: The Symbol of Florence

famous churches in Florence italy

The iconic dome towers over the city and is a symbol of Florence. Being attached to the Florence cathedral, the iconic Duomo is arguably one of the most famous churches in Florence, Italy. The Duomo di Firenze is an architectural masterpiece with its incredible marble exterior and frescoes by Vasari. You can even climb to the top for breathtaking views of the city! The Florence cathedral, also known as Santa Maria del Fiore, is a must-visit for its rich history and stunning beauty. Many of the best tours in Florence include this iconic place.

Tips for visiting the Duomo:

  • Buy your tickets in advance. You don’t want to spend precious hours of your trip standing in line. Buying tickets online or booking a skip-the-line full tour with tickets before your visit can save you a ton of time.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. If you decide to climb to the top of the Duomo, you’ll be facing quite a few stairs. For travels, I always choose comfort over style!
  • Visit at lower crowd times. If you want to beat the crowds and enjoy a more serene experience, aim for early morning right when it opens or later in the afternoon.
  • Don’t skip the rooftop! It’s a lot of stairs but absolutely worth it. The view of Florence from up there is breathtaking, you can literally see for miles. It’s one of those moments you’ll never forget.

3. Santa Maria Novella: A Hidden Gem in Florence

famous churches in Florence italy

Located near the main train station in Florence, Santa Maria Novella is often overlooked by tourists. However, this church is a hidden gem with its stunning Gothic architecture and famous works of art by Giotto and Brunelleschi. Take a break from the crowds and explore this peaceful and beautiful church.

4. Basilica di San Lorenzo: The Medici Family Chapel

famous churches in Florence italy

Basilica di San Lorenzo may not be as grand as other churches on this list, but its connection to the powerful Medici family makes it one of the most famous churches in Florence, Italy. As the private chapel of the Medici family, it features beautiful works of art from famous artists Donatello and Brunelleschi. Take a tour of the Medici Chapels to see the elaborate tombs of the Medici family members, including Lorenzo de’ Medici and Cosimo I de’ Medici.

5. Basilica di Santo Spirito: A Neighborhood Church

famous churches in Florence italy

If you want to experience a more authentic side of Florence, head to the Basilica di Santo Spirito in the Oltrarno neighborhood. This church is simple yet beautiful, with a beautiful interior filled with frescoes and artwork by artists such as Filippino Lippi. It’s a peaceful escape from the city center of Florence.

6. Ognissanti: A Small Church Full of Big History

Photo by Sailko via Wiki.

Despite its small size, Ognissanti is known for its incredible artwork. The church houses works by renowned artists such as Giotto, Botticelli, and Ghirlandaio. It’s also the final resting place of the famous Italian explorer, Amerigo Vespucci. This lesser-known church is definitely worth a visit on your trip to the Tuscany region in Italy.

7. San Miniato al Monte: Where Heaven Meets Earth

Sitting up on one of the highest points in Florence, San Miniato al Monte feels like it’s among the clouds here. It’s tranquil, beautiful, and a little off the beaten path – which makes it all the more a place worth visiting.

Wrap Up: the Most Famous Churches in Florence, Italy

Florence is a city that makes you feel like you stepped into an art history book. From the Duomo to San Lorenzo, each place has a story to tell. Whether you’re visiting the resting place of Michelangelo, or climbing the steps to the top of the Duomo, Florence is a city that will leave you inspired every step of the way. Don’t be afraid to venture off the beaten path and discover places like San Miniato al Monte and Basilica of Santo Spirito. You won’t regret visiting any of these famous churches in Florence!

✈️ Traveling to Italy?

🏛️ Are tours in Italy worth it?

YES Booking tours with Viator is my favorite way to book tours and experiences. By taking day trips and tours this way, you are able to see and do many things you may not have been able to otherwise.

🚗 is it safe to rent a car in Italy?

YES Renting a car gives you freedom to explore! I like to rent with Discover Cars, which checks all local and international companies to give you the best rates.

❤️‍🩹 Should I buy Italy travel insurance?

YES — If you’re a worrier like me, give yourself peace of mind with Safety Wing, the #1 travel insurance for solo travelers, remote workers, and digital nomads.

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