The Museum of Santa Maria Novella
Near Ars Hotels (Hotel Rivoli and Best Western Grand Hotel Adriatico) there is the museum of Santa Maria Novella; this is composed of the two cloisters of the ancient convent, the Spanish Chapel and the large refectory. The first, the Green Cloister, has frescoes by Paolo Uccello with scenes from the Old Testament on three of the four sides.
The visit to the museum begin when you enter from a side garden of the church, in Avelli road. Here you can see the tombs of the ancient families, with the coats of arms carved on marble.
Inside there is also a magnificently decorated Chapter House, called the Cappellone degli Spagnoli or Spanish Chapel ever since it was used by the courtiers of Eleanor of Toledo, wife of Cosimo I. The chapel was frescoes by Andrea di Bonaiuto depicting Jesus Christ’s passion, death and resurrection on the front wall as you enter. To the right, in the Triumph of the Doctrine, the dogs of God (a pun on the word Dominican – domini canes) are sent to round up lost sheep into the fold of the church. To the left, another fresco the Triumph of the Catholic Doctrine while the entrance wall frescoes depict stories of the life of St. Peter Martyr.
The ancient refectory is the place where precious liturgical objects belonging to the church’s sacristy are on display as well as a few recovered synopses from Orcagna’s frescoes in the Tornabuoni chapel.