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“Ah, Santa Croce!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Basilica di Santa Croce

Basilica di Santa Croce
Piazza Santa Croce 16, Florence, Italy
+39-055-246-6105
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$169*
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Florence Day Trip from Rome
Ranked #8 of 215 Attractions in Florence
Type: Architectural Buildings, Cemeteries, Religious Sites, Historic Sites, Museums, Cultural
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: This is the richest medieval church in Florence, which features frescoes by Giotto, a chapel by Brunelleschi and one of the finest of all early Renaissance tombs.
Savannah, Georgia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Ah, Santa Croce!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2012

One of my favorites in Florence. Much better inside than the Duomo (IMHO). Tombs and monuments to numerous famous and influential Florentines from the Renaissance, and the church is just beautiful inside.

Visited October 2012
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Phoenix, Arizona
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5 reviews 5 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Tomb of Michelangelo”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

I made the trip to this church as the necessary pilgrimage to see the tomb of Michelangelo. The tomb and monument itself is only ok but how could you not go see it? The church also has the tomb of Machiavelli and other famous Florentines. Dante has an impressive monument here but is buried elsewhere. The highlight for me was the Pazzi Chapel next to the church which is spectacular.

Visited November 2012
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San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
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19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Second Visit This Year”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

My first visit was on Palm Sunday, which marks the beginning of Settimana Santa (Holy Week). I had been in Florence for more than two weeks, and saved what turned out to be the best for last. There are so many churches in this city, and each one has a different feeling, and reason for being, The Duomo is indeed amazing, yet inside, it is a cavernous vault that feels cold and stripped down when compared to its marble exterior. Orsanmichele was originally built as a grain market, and when they converted it to a church, they kept the stone floor, and simply painted around the bronze rings that were the pulleys.

But Santa Croce....although it's huge in size (and apparently the largest Franciscan church in the world), it feels warm and personal inside, perhaps because so many famous people are prominently buried there: people whose names and stories we grew up with since elementary school days. I also love how the Medici have such a reduced presence in this church. Every other corner is not emblazoned with their family coat of arms, the ubiquitous balls.

On Palm Sunday, I spent two hours resting in the warm spring sunshine in the cloisters, which I had pretty much to myself. I kicked the sandals off my weary feet, and dangled them over the green grass, while reading a history of the church.

I returned to Florence this fall, and last week, my son came to visit. I saved Santa Croce for his last day, as well. He was enchanted by the peacefulness of the cloisters and the Pazzi Chapel (Cappella dei Pazzi), which was the perfect time to share the outrageous story of the Pazzi Conspiracy. To the left of the entrance is a plaque showing the high water line from the flood on 1966, which unfortunately damaged or destroyed so many Florentine treasures. Seeing the resting place of Galileo, Machiavelli, Michelangelo, Rossini, Marconi, and many many others brings history to life. It's definitely worth the €6 for admission.

Visited November 2012
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Mansfield, Ohio, United States
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31 reviews 31 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Moving, little to no crowd. Must see.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

Where else do you stand at the tombs of Galileo, Michaelangelo, and Donti? It is an amazing example of the Italian, Florentine archeaology. It is a beautiful cathedral. This was the home of the Inquisition and also the largest Franciscan church ever built. Immaculately preserved. Far fewer crowds come here, so it is very nice. $6euro to visit.

Visited December 2012
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Tracy, California
Top Contributor
337 reviews 337 reviews
215 attraction reviews
Reviews in 93 cities Reviews in 93 cities
159 helpful votes 159 helpful votes
“This is a wow”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

Sure there are churches on every corner in Italy, but ths is a place to stop and see what many other tourists will not take the time to see. It takes a little walking from other sites, but worth it.

Visited September 2012
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