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Visiting churches in Florenc when services are on....or not?

Exeter, United...
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Visiting churches in Florenc when services are on....or not?

Even though churches opening times may say something like 9 till 5pm (for instance Santa Maria Novella on a Saturday) is there a time when access is not available due to a service going on?

For instance I have seen somewhere that SMN has a service at 12noon??).

I was careful to avoid such a situation in Rome when I went there.

I would be grateful if anyone with experience could let me know if my planned visiting times to these churches on a trip in Feb 2013 are going to be problematic for the above reason!!!....

San Marco.....between 10 and 11:30am on a Wednesday

Santa Croce....between 3 and 5pm on a Thursday

Santa Maria della Carmine.....between 2:30 and 4pm on a Friday

Santa Trinita.....between 5 and 6 on a Friday

Santa Maria Novella....between 12:30 and 2pm on a Saturday

Thanks in advance!!

Dave

Edited: 15 December 2012, 23:50
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Seattle, Washington
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1. Re: Visiting churches in Florenc when services are on....or not?

It varies from church to church, not surprisingly. You can try Google to find the official web page for the various churches you're interested in.

Sometimes the mass will be a small mass held in a side chapel and the rest of the church is open to visitors as long as they are respectful. Some of the smaller churches will close without much if any notice for weddings or funerals.

Good luck.

Exeter, United...
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2. Re: Visiting churches in Florenc when services are on....or not?

Well, this is the thing...

I did indeed check the official website of Santa Maria Novella before posting the question.

http://www.chiesasantamarianovella.it

The opening times are simply 9am to 5pm on Saturdays BUT....

Another website (which I can longer locate!!) said they were closed at 11:30 then open again for the afternoon and I gathered there must be services.

The official website doesn't list them!! And surely that must restrict visits when they are on??

That's why i was hoping someone might be able to help with actual experience of going at the times I've listed.

Very keen to know as I'm trying to plan an itinery, you see!!

And I don't want to rely on just good luck!! :)

Thanks.

Castellina in...
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3. Re: Visiting churches in Florenc when services are on....or not?

Churches are generally not closed when Mass is in progress. Worshippers also come and go during the course of Mass. Just move around quietly and unostentatiously - which you would probably do anyway.

Firenze
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4. Re: Visiting churches in Florenc when services are on....or not?

Hi David

generally during the week mass is either early morning or late afternoon, santa croce has a well done website (closes 5.30 pm)

santa maria novella is closed friday mornings and sunday mornings

Minor churches like san marco or santa trinita do close over lunch (12-4pm)

for up to date timetables check the APT Florence or the Firenzecard websites

what tuscan says is not right for Florence where most churches require an entrance fee and guardians check no intruders come visit during services

Montepulciano, Italy
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5. Re: Visiting churches in Florenc when services are on....or not?

Beg to disagree. I don't think visitors wandering around during Mass works even when it is said in a side chapel of a very large church. It's clear the OP is sensitive and respectful to the fact that it's primaily a place of worship but a lot of people aren't. If you can avoid coming in during Mass do, unless you just sit quietly in a pew and take in the surroundings from there.

Le Marche, Italy
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6. Re: Visiting churches in Florenc when services are on....or not?

Some churches have no problem with visitors during mass, especially large churches with many side chapels. If you can't visit during mass, there will be a sign saying so. Of course, during mass, you can't go near the part of the church where the service is being held, and you can't talk or take photos.

Most people go to San Marco to see the frescoes by Beato Angelico in the monks' cells in the Museum of San Marco, not to see the church. A visit to the museum will not interfere with masses in the church. Santa Maria Novella does have masses, but most of them are in the Capella della Pura, which is apart from the Basilica; touristic visits to the church are allowed during these masses. There are masses in the Basilica on Sundays and religious holidays. Their website says that during these masses, "all present should maintain a dignified attitude, remain silent, and refrain from leafing through tourist guides".

www.chiesasantamarianovella.it/orari-ss-messe

Your visiting times don't look as though they'd interfere with any masses, with the possible exception of the visit to Santa Trinità, which might have a mass at six or shortly thereafter.

Exeter, United...
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7. Re: Visiting churches in Florenc when services are on....or not?

Awesome replies.

Particularly Bvlenci's comment...

Just the right type of insight I was hoping for.

Tripadvisor is great, isn't it?!

Mass times are not always indicated where they need to be, I find.

It's all very well...but I like to know when they so I can visit in comfort either side of them.

I have managed to find a very helpful list of catholic churches mass times on APT Florence (thanks to zucchero) which will help to 'fine tune' my plans a little more.

Thanks again, people!

Atlanta
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8. Re: Visiting churches in Florenc when services are on....or not?

Just what you need -- another church to add to the list! But don't miss Ognissanti, where both Botticelli and Amerigo Vespucci are buried. And two art treasures face each other, halfway down the aisle: on the left,Ghirlandaio's St. Jerome, and on the right, Botticelli's St. Augustine. The church is closed from 12-4. Next door is the Cenacolo, with the Last Supper by Ghirlandaio. This is only open on Tuesday and Saturday from 9-12.

Florence, Italy
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9. Re: Visiting churches in Florenc when services are on....or not?

David S, you're going to have a great time! The Museo di San Marco is wonderful - don't miss it. And I'm really happy that you won't be doing what most people do, skipping the church of San Marco! In there you'll find Orcagna, Michelozzo, Fra Bartolomeo, Giambologna...! And since you're in the neighborhood, be sure to enter Santissima Annunziata, one of my favorites.

Exeter, United...
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10. Re: Visiting churches in Florenc when services are on....or not?

Ognissanti sounds marvellous. I have just looked it up in my 'Art and Architecture: Florence'. And I do want to see some Ghirlandaio!!

But I only have three and a half days in Florence!!

Ognissanti is just that little bit off my path. It would have to be that OR Santa Trinita on that day, I think. MY hunch is to go with the latter.

I don't want a stroll to become a trot....if I can help it.

Thanks Eugene....same for you. I think Santissima (which looks beautiful, and I also love del Sarto!) may be too much on top of San Marco and Accademia that day. As I simply must have gelato after those (ha ha)....and I plan to catch Duomo and Baptistery as I venture back to my B&B before an evening meal. As you can surmise from that, I like to plan!!!

Someon here once said I enjoy my holidays three times.....once before (planning), once during and once after (editing and compiling photographs and other mementoes). That is definitely the same for me!!

To do more, well....I will simply have to rub the snout of Il Porcellini and return to Florence another day!!