Saturday, January 12, 2008

Santa Maria Novella

When you come out of the front of the Santa Maria Novella train station, one of your first sights will be the back of the Church of Santa Maria Novella. Walking around to the side that faces south and away from the train station you’ll find the elaborate façade, only revealed a month or so ago after an eternity in restoration behind scaffolding. For 2,50 Euro you can go in and visit the church. (Note, locals coming in for a quick pray get in free. If the sign says “preghiera” then that isn’t your entrance.) Pick up the small guide as you walk in to help decipher what you are looking at. Better yet, head to the Sacristy where there is a small bookshop where you can buy a detailed guide of the church. (Or print out the wikipedia page before you go. Oh why can’t someone make a decent text to speech widget so I can “read” the wikipedia page into an mp3 or wma and put it on my phone?) Unfortunately, there were not as many guides in this church (perhaps it was a bad day) as there were in San Lorenzo so we didn’t get that personal touch (aka cheap Italian conversation.)

Less of a deal (in our opinion) was the 2,70 Euro for the cloister. You exit the church and head around to the left of the facade . (Why not make it a combined ticket?) There just isn’t that much to see there. Okay there was a room or two of reliquaries and ornate robes, but unless you are a diehard fan of that kind of stuff, skip it.

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