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“Ah, Santa Croce!”

Basilica di Santa Croce
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Entrance and Guided Tour of Santa Croce Basilica
Ranked #9 of 446 things to do in Florence
Certificate of Excellence
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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
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Ah, Santa Croce!”
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
1 Thank Richard H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Tomb of Michelangelo”
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
1 Thank Rick C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
65 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Second Visit This Year”
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
2 Thank Alexinasf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mansfield, Ohio, United States
Level Contributor
78 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Moving, little to no crowd. Must see.”
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
1 Thank Howard W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tracy, California
Level Contributor
533 reviews
328 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 229 helpful votes
“This is a wow”
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
Thank Maconthemove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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