Basilica de Santa Croce, located in the enchanting city of Florence, Italy, is a remarkable masterpiece that captivates visitors with its rich history, stunning architecture, and profound cultural significance. This magnificent basilica stands as a testament to the artistic and architectural brilliance of the Renaissance period and continues to draw countless admirers from around the world. Let us delve into the wonders of Basilica de Santa Croce, where every corner whispers stories of the past.

History of the Basilica di Santa Croce

The origins of Basilica di Santa Croce can be traced back to the 13th century when it was founded by the Franciscan order. Construction began in 1294 and took several decades to complete. The basilica was built on the site where a small chapel once stood, and its construction was a monumental undertaking, involving skilled artisans and architects of the time. It showcases a harmonious blend of architectural styles, predominantly Gothic but also incorporating elements of the Renaissance. Its façade, adorned with delicate marble carvings, beckons visitors to enter and explore its grandeur. The towering bell tower offers a commanding view of Florence’s skyline, while the rose window, a stunning work of stained glass, bathes the interior in a kaleidoscope of colours when sunlight pours through.

Who is buried in the Basilica di Santa Croce? 

Basilica di Santa Croce is the final resting place of numerous notable figures from history, making it a mausoleum of great significance. The basilica houses the tombs of illustrious personalities, including Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei, Niccolò Machiavelli, and Gioachino Rossini. Each tomb is a work of art in itself, adorned with intricate sculptures and epitaphs that pay homage to these influential figures. Step inside the basilica, and you will find yourself surrounded by an awe-inspiring collection of art and decorations. The walls are adorned with magnificent frescoes, masterfully painted by renowned artists such as Giotto, Cimabue, and Agnolo Gaddi. The intricate details of these frescoes transport visitors to a bygone era, depicting religious scenes and stories with profound beauty and grace. 

Religious and Cultural Significance of the Basilica di Santa Croce

Throughout its history, Basilica di Santa Croce has been witness to various significant events and visited by notable personalities. It has hosted illustrious weddings, funerals, and public ceremonies, cementing its place as a symbol of Florentine heritage. Prominent individuals such as Charles Dickens, Stendhal, and Mark Twain have walked through its halls, finding inspiration in its sacred ambiance.

As a Franciscan basilica, Basilica de Santa Croce holds immense religious significance. It serves as an active place of worship and spirituality, offering solace and tranquillity to both locals and visitors seeking a moment of reflection. Additionally, the basilica plays a vital role in preserving and promoting the rich cultural heritage of Florence, showcasing the city’s deep-rooted artistic and intellectual legacy

Restorations of the Santa Croce in 1966

In 1966 there was a flood of the Arno in Florence which killed 101 people and damaged or destroyed millions of masterpieces of art and rare books. It is considered the worst flood in the city’s history since 1557. The Arno rose to 2.7 meters (8.86 feet) inside the church. Many art pieces like the bottom four feet of the nave altar were harmed. In the preparations for the 50th Anniversary in 2016, a Memorial of the Flood was inaugurated today in Santa Croce. It is located in the Chiostro Antico, next to Pietro Parigi museum and accessible with the general ticket to Santa Croce monumental complex.

What are the opening hours and the price of the Basilica di Santa Croce? 

Basilica de Santa Croce, visiting hours are conveniently scheduled throughout the year. It is open from 9.30 to 17.30 on Monday- Saturday. The entrance costs 8€ or 6€ for students and Teenagers from ages 12-17. The basilica provides guided tours for a more comprehensive understanding of its history and treasures. Visitors can also marvel at the adjacent museum, which houses valuable artefacts and further delves into the basilica’s significance. Facilities such as gift shops and cafés are available, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience for all. The basilica also holds regular Mass and religious services. Visitors are welcome to attend these services and participate in the spiritual life of the basilica.

To conclude, the Basilica di Santa Croce is not only a testament to the artistic and cultural legacy of Florence but also breathtaking architecture, captivating artworks, and historical significance which makes it a true gem of the city. Whether you seek spiritual solace, appreciate fine art, or crave a glimpse into the past, this basilica offers an enchanting experience that will leave an indelible mark on your heart and mind and we do recommend visiting! 

Keep in mind, photography is generally allowed inside the basilica, but flash photography and tripods are prohibited to preserve the artworks and maintain the sacred atmosphere. Also remember to be respectful of the rules and be aware that it is a religious place. 


  1. Are there any guided tours available for visitors?
    • Yes, guided tours are available for visitors who wish to have a more immersive and informative experience at the basilica. These tours are led by knowledgeable guides who provide insights into the history, art, and significance of the Basilica de Santa Croce.
  2. How much time should I allocate for a visit to the basilica?
    • The amount of time you should allocate for a visit to the basilica depends on your level of interest and exploration. On average, most visitors spend around 1 to 2 hours exploring the basilica and its surroundings. However, if you have a deep appreciation for art or plan to attend any events or ceremonies, you may want to allocate more time.
  3. Is there an entrance fee to visit the Basilica de Santa Croce?
    • Yes, there is an entrance fee to visit the Basilica de Santa Croce. The ticket prices may vary depending on factors such as age, student status, and whether you opt for a guided tour. It is recommended to check the official website or inquire at the entrance for the most up-to-date ticket information.
  4. Are there any restrictions on clothing or attire when visiting the basilica?
    • As the Basilica de Santa Croce is a religious site, visitors are expected to dress modestly and respectfully. Sleeveless tops, shorts, and skirts above the knee are not allowed. It is recommended to wear clothing that covers the shoulders and knees. Additionally, hats or head coverings should be removed before entering the basilica, unless worn for religious purposes

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