September 23rd, on the occasion of the Autumn Equinox we may observe the transit of the Sun on the meridian lines designed by Egnazio Danti.

Opera per Santa Maria Novella 

Apparent passage of the Sun on the meridian lines of Basilica of Santa Maria Novella for the Autumn Equinox

Guided Observation

 Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, Florence

September 23rd, 2017 at 12,30


The façade of Santa Maria Novella has the distinction of being “astronomical”, thanks to the ancient instruments installed by Egnazio Danti (1536-1586) between 1572 and 1575: the astronomical dial, the equinoctial armilla and two gnomonic holes projecting the image of the sun on the basilica floor at solar noon.

The intent of Egnazio Danti was to carry with the meridian a series of observations and related studies, necessary to accurately measure the length of the tropical year and the time of the equinoxes: two essential parameters to reform the calendar and to determine the date of Christian Easter.

In 2016, thanks to the contribution of the Military Geographical Institute and the Galileo Museum, Opera Santa Maria Novella has reconstructed the two meridian inside the basilica about 440 years since the project of Egnazio Danti.

On the occasion of the Spring Equinox we wiil be able to observe the transit of the Sun on the meridian lines designed by Egnazio Danti at:

Solar noon 13,15

NOTE: Participants must register for free to the event on Eventbrite (see box below). The event, for safety reasons, is limited to 300 people.


In case of bad weather we don't assure the visibility of the astronomical event

Cover photo: Giuseppe Moscato