Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence: opening times, prices and funerary monuments

December 19, 2014

A true wonder of the Italian Gothic style, the Basilica of Santa Croce is located in Florence in the square of the same name and it is a prime destination for millions of tourists who annually visit the so-called "cradle of the Renaissance". Built between the thirteenth and the fourteenth century on a land formerly occupied by a smaller church, Santa Croce has always been managed by the order of Franciscan monks.

Externally the Basilica is recognizable by the famous facade, made in recent times (between 1853 and 1863) by the architect Niccolò Matas, and by the unmistakable triangular gables of the false aisles of the nave. Even the bell tower, a little less than 80 meters high, was added only in the nineteenth century.

The interior has a Tau cross design, divided into three main aisles. The visitor’s attention is immediately captivated by the magnificence of the Main Chapel, built in French Gothic style, standing out against the background of the nave.

Nevertheless, even more amazing are the lateral aisles, mostly filled with wonderful chapels and monumental tombs. To the right are the Peruzzi Chapel and the Bardi Chapel, both decorated by Giotto, the first one with the Stories of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, and the second one with the Stories of St. Francis. Then there are the Castellani Chapel and the Baroncelli Chapel, which are also rich in works of the highest quality. Noteworthy to the left side are the Pulci-Berardi Chapel with frescoes by Bartolomeo Daddi and the Bardi di Vernio Chapel that preserves the Crucifix by Donatello.

The many graves of famous people, thanks to which the Basilica of Santa Croce has earned the name of "temple of Italian Glories", are placed on both aisles and on the counter-facade. Among the many tombs, you can see the ones of Michelangelo Buonarroti, Ugo Foscolo, Galileo Galilei, Vittorio Alfieri, Niccolò Machiavelli and Gioacchino Rossini. There are also several cenotaphs (memorials of people buried elsewhere), the most famous of which is the one of Dante Alighieri.

From the church, you can access other places of great interest, such as the Medici Chapel, the Sacristy, the two cloisters and the Pazzi Chapel, an unrivaled masterpiece by Filippo Brunelleschi and one of the most important examples of Renaissance architecture.

The Basilica of Santa Croce is open to the public from Monday to Saturday, from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm, while on Sundays and public holidays of obligation (January 6, August 15, November 1 and December 8) the opening time is from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. The historical complex strictly closes at 5:30 pm. Closing days are on January 1, Easter, June 13, October 4 and 25th and 26th of December.

The ticket costs 6.00 €; the reduced one, reserved to kids aged from 11 to 17 years, school classes and groups of at least 15 people, costs 4.00 €. For information, please contact the telephone number +39 055 2466105 or email

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