22 Jul Basilica di Santa Croce
FLORENCE’S PANTHEON, WORLD HERITAGEJust step into Piazza Santa Croce, and you’ll be amazed by the Basilica. It’s difficult to forget it, especially once you’ve been inside. The neo-Gothic style alone speaks of an ancient story full of charm.
The Basilica of Santa Croce began to be built in 1294 (for the Franciscan order) on the foundations of a small chapel, created to commemorate St. Francis of Assisi.
Once completed, the Santa Croce church outdid even the grandeur of the Basilica of Santa Maria.
Novella, built by the Dominican order. In fact, its inestimable value is not so much in its architectural beauty (it’s not as spectacular as Santa Maria Novella) as in
its artisti: value: the immense artistic wealth of sculptures and paintings makes it a unique place in the world. In the chapels you can admire frescoes by Old Masters including Giotto, Brunelleschi and Donatello.
As big as the history of Florence
The Basilica of Santa Croce is the second largest religious building in Florence, after
the Cathedral, at 115 metres long and 38 metres wide.
And it is also the largest Franciscan church in the world, in size and prestige. In addition to the incredible works of art, inside you can admire almost 300 tombs of illustrious personalities from Italian history, from the fourteenth to the nineteenth century: Galileo Galilei, Machiavelli, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Michelangelo and many more.
Only very few people know that the Basilica of Santa Croce is actually a complex that also includes two cloisters and a refectory, today used as the Museum of the Opera of Santa Croce.
Over the centuries it has become the ultimate example of Florence’s great appeal to artists and thinkers from all over the world. Discovering and admiring Santa Croce is the best way to really get to know the architectural and artistic heritage of the Renaissance in depth.
A walk among the most important works of art
The interior of the Basilica of Santa Croce has an Egyptian cross layout with three naves, divided by large octagonal pillars, and houses an impressive number of works of art.
Walking along the right side you can admire Michelangelo’s tomb topped with three sculptures (Painting, Sculpture and Architecture) that mourn his death; immediately after this is the cenotaph of Dante and Canova‘s monument to Vittorio Alfieri, then you arrive at the pulpit by Benedetto da Maiano, the tomb of Niccolò Machiavelli and then Donatello’s Annunciation. The right side ends with the tombs of Gioacchino Rossini and Ugo Foscolo.
From here you can access the Baroncelli Chapel and the 14th century sacristy, adjacent to which is the Medici Chapel, with a splendid enamelled terracotta crucifix by Andrea della Robbia. Walking down the left aisle there are other surprising works to discover, including the tombs of important historical figures such as Galileo Galilei.
From Canto degli Aranci you can experience the wonder of the Basilica of Santa Croce by reaching the Piazza in less than a minute and immersing yourself in the magic of Florence. Book now!