The basilica of Santa Maria Novella was built between 1279 and 1357 by the Dominican monks near an ancient church of the seventh century surrounded by cultivated land outside the walls of Florence. The lower part of the marble facade, which is in Romanesque style, is believed to have been executed by the Dominican architect Fra' Iacopo Talenti da Nipozzano, while the upper part was completed only a hundred years later in 1470 by Leon Battista Alberti. The facade is not only the oldest of the churches in Florence, but also the only one originally designed for the church.
The interior of the basilica is spacious, thanks also to the use of coloured arches in the centre. The plan is attributed to Brunelleschi. Here you can see extraordinary masterpieces, including the Trinity by Masaccio, the frescoes by Ghirlandaio in the Tornabuoni Chapel and the Crucifix by Giotto.