Beginning of main content
Trip Type
Flight 1
Flight 2
Flight 3
Flight 4
Flight 5

Search over 1 million properties and 550 airlines worldwide

Search over 1 million flights, hotels, packages, and more

No Expedia cancellation fee to change or cancel almost any hotel reservation

Basilica of Santa Croce

Glorious tombs mark the resting place of Michelangelo, Galileo and many other Italian greats in the largest Franciscan church in the world.

Santa Croce means Holy Cross, but this basilica is also known as the Temple of the Italian Glories, in reference to the many famous figures that have been laid to rest here. Wander through the 16 chapels to see the tributes that have been paid to the likes of Michelangelo, Galileo, Rossini and Machiavelli. There is a lot to cover so you may want to take the free guided tour; check at the volunteers desk to for a schedule. Alternatively, you can rent an audio guide or book in for a thematic tour (extra cost to admission.)

A group of monks founded a small chapel on the site of the Santa Croce following the death of St. Francis. Work on the church as we see it today began in 1294. It has undergone a number of alterations since then, most notably the Neo-Gothic marble façade, which was added between 1857 and 1865.

The high timber roof and tall arches of the nave give the space an austere feeling, in keeping with the teachings of the Franciscan church. You don’t have to go far to encounter some breathtaking sculpture, painting or frescoes. On the south wall is a gilded limestone relief of the Annunciation by Donatello. See his famous wooden crucifix in the Bardi Chapel. Also in the Bardi, and in the Peruzzi Chapel, are ornate frescoes by Giotto.

Stop by the tombs of luminaries, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Dante and Machiavelli. Note on Michelangelo’s tomb the three allegorical figures representing the arts of sculpture, painting and architecture. The tomb was inspiration for many of the other funerary monuments, including that of Galileo, on which the three figures are seen looking towards the heavens.

The Basilica di Santa Croce is located in the Piazza Santa Croce and is a short walk north of the Church of Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo). Visit Santa Croce in the first week of June to see the Calcio Storico when teams in medieval costumes play out a 16th-century version of a soccer game.

The church is open daily except national holidays and Holy Days of Obligation. Check the official Santa Croce Firenze website for a schedule. There is a small admission fee.

It's worth giving yourself loads of time at Basilica of Santa Croce. Here are the best activities:

Small Group Best of Florence & Pisa Highlights from Livorno is one of the best experiences available for purchase here.

Take a look at our Florence things to do page to find even more activities while you're in the area.


Guide to Exploring around Basilica of Santa Croce


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Basilica of Santa Croce

See all 6,148 Properties near Basilica of Santa Croce
Grand Hotel Cavour ¥10,024
Grand Hotel Cavour

Grand Hotel Cavour

Via Del Proconsolo 3, Florence, FI
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Duomo, this family-friendly Florence hotel is steps from Badia Fiorentina and Bargello. Piazza del Duomo and Palazzo Vecchio are also within 5 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 14 minutes by foot and Florence Campo Di Marte Station is 23 minutes.

    Maxim Axial ¥5,838
    Maxim Axial

    Maxim Axial

    Via Dei Calzaiuoli 11, Florence, FI
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Duomo, this hotel is steps from Via de' Calzaiuoli and Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower. Piazza della Signoria and Piazza del Duomo are also within 5 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 11 minutes by foot and Porta al Prato Station is 21 minutes.

      Relais Piazza Signoria ¥7,924
      Relais Piazza Signoria

      Relais Piazza Signoria

      Via Vacchereccia 3, Florence, FI
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Duomo, this apartment building is steps from Via de' Calzaiuoli, Piazza della Signoria, and Palazzo Vecchio. Uffizi Gallery and Ponte Vecchio are also within 5 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 14 minutes by foot and Porta al Prato Station is 22 minutes.

        Hotel Spadai ¥10,922
        Hotel Spadai

        Hotel Spadai

        Via dei Martelli, 10, Florence, FI
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Duomo, this spa hotel is steps from Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower, and San Lorenzo Church. Piazza del Duomo and Academy of Fine Arts are also within 5 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 10 minutes by foot and Porta al Prato Station is 21 minutes.

          Orto De Medici Hotel ¥9,355
          Orto De Medici Hotel

          Orto De Medici Hotel

          Via San Gallo 30, Florence, FI
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in San Lorenzo, this romantic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Piazza San Marco, Statue of David, and Gallery of the Academy of Florence. Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower and Academy of Fine Arts are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 13 minutes by foot and Florence Statuto Station is 17 minutes.

            Hotel Pitti Palace al Ponte Vecchio ¥11,776
            Hotel Pitti Palace al Ponte Vecchio

            Hotel Pitti Palace al Ponte Vecchio

            Borgo S.Jacopo, 3/r, Florence, FI
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Oltrarno, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Ponte Vecchio, Pitti Palace, and Piazza della Signoria. Uffizi Gallery and Palazzo Vecchio are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 16 minutes by foot and Porta al Prato Station is 23 minutes.

              Aurum Firenze ¥6,441
              Aurum Firenze

              Aurum Firenze

              Via Nazionale 8/a, Florence
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Santa Maria Novella, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Via Faenza and Santa Maria Novella Basilica and Museum. Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower and Piazza del Duomo are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is only a 5-minute walk and Porta al Prato Station is 16 minutes.

                Hotel Berchielli ¥12,440
                Hotel Berchielli

                Hotel Berchielli

                Lungarno Acciaiuoli 14, Florence, FI
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Duomo, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria, and Uffizi Gallery. Palazzo Vecchio and Pitti Palace are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 14 minutes by foot and Porta al Prato Station is 21 minutes.