Located within Santa Maria del Carmine Church in Florence’s Oltrarno neighborhood, the Brancacci Chapel (Cappella Brancacci) is one of the city’s most treasured landmarks. The chapel’s walls showcase recently restored frescoes painted in 1424 by Masaccio, who was only 21 at the time. His work is known to locals as the Sistine Chapel of the early Renaissance.The Basics
Don’t let Santa Maria del Carmine’s unassuming exterior fool you—the stunning interior makes it one of Florence’s best-kept secrets. In addition to Masaccio’s frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel, the church features the Corsini Chapel, which houses the remains of a 14th-century saint, and the convent, which has miraculously withstood the damage of several fires and floods.
The Brancacci Chapel is often included on walking tours of the Oltrarno neighborhood, which also features Piazzale Michelangelo, Santo Spirito Church, Pitti Palace, and the Boboli Gardens. Private tours allow visitors to tack an extended chapel visit onto the day’s fully customized itinerary, ensuring a more in-depth overview of its history. Admission tickets and audio guides are also available online; purchase in advance to skip entrance lines. The chapel is also included on the Firenze Card, which grants access to more than 70 Florence landmarks, saving you time and money.Things to Know Before You Go
- The Brancacci Chapel is a must for art history buffs.
- Children under age 18 receive free admission.
- Audio guide tablets are available for rent upon arrival.
- The chapel is not accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
The Brancacci Chapel is an easy 10-minute walk west of the Ponte Vecchio. The nearest transit stop is Carmine on bus C4, which conveniently stops at the church entrance located in Piazza del Carmine.
When to Get There
Santa Maria del Carmine is open from 10am to 5pm on Monday and Wednesday through Saturday, and 1pm to 5pm on Sunday; it is closed on Tuesdays. While the church and chapel rarely feel overly crowded, the best time to go for a quiet visit is first thing in the morning.The Genius of Masaccio
Masaccio was known as the greatest painter of his generation, employing never-before-used techniques that deeply influenced Renaissance painting. He didn’t realize his full potential, as he died at the young age of 26—just 6 years after he began his work in the Brancacci Chapel. Masaccio’s painting was so influential that even Filippo Brunelleschi, architect of the Duomo, mourned his death.