Patrons and Saints

Fresco Santa Maria Novella

Imagine a world before cameras… What makes this tour interesting is that you will be looking at portraits of rich and prominent figures of the past and their need of leaving tangible and colourful traces of their existence through their religious and cultural outlook.

In Santa Maria Novella,  we find examples of the magnificent patronage of the Tornabuoni and Ruccellai families with the works of revolutionary artists: Masaccio, Ghirlandaio, Filippino Lippi. In Giovanni Tornabuoni’s chapel decorated by Domenico del Ghirlandaio, we find magnificent portraits of family members and notables of Florentine society.

We then visit the Church of Santa Trinità to admire more frescoes by Ghirlandaio in the Sassetti Chapel. Here we find images of Florence in the late 15th century, prominent Florentine figures, members of the Sassetti family and Lorenzo dei Medici and his sons. Santa Trinità also allows us to understand the difficulties of making frescoes and the challenge of their conservation.

Our last stop, the fascinating and elegant Santo Spirito on the Oltrarno, the other side of the river. The Augustinian complex sees its first development in the 1250s, however, the church we enter today was consecrated in 1481 and is based on an initial project of Filippo Brunelleschi. Inside we find a unique collection of 15th and 17th-century chapels with their ornate altarpieces. This is also where Michelangelo studies anatomy and where his unique sculpture, a wooden crucifix, still hangs.

Duration: 3 hrs
Sites visited: Santa Maria Novella*, Santa Trinità, Santo Spirito
Price for 1-4pax: €225
Additional price for headsets: €30
*Entry & reservation fees: not included
NB. Churches require a dress code. Please dress appropriately with covered shoulders and knees.