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

Search over 1,000,000 properties worldwide and 550 airlines worldwide.

Search over a 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.

Popular Activities at Basilica of Santa Croce

Get the most out of your time at Basilica of Santa Croce. Here's a list of the most popular activities:

Taken you forever to visit this celebrated attraction? Then you can't leave without trying out a Small Group Best of Florence & Pisa Highlights from Livorno.

For even more activities, check out our Florence things to do page.


Guide to Exploring around Basilica of Santa Croce


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Basilica of Santa Croce

See all 5,573 Properties near Basilica of Santa Croce
Hotel Pitti Palace al Ponte Vecchio ¥27,237
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.

    c-hotels Ambasciatori ¥12,326
    c-hotels Ambasciatori

    c-hotels Ambasciatori

    Via Luigi Alamanni 3, Florence, FI
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Santa Maria Novella, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Via Faenza, Santa Maria Novella Basilica and Museum, and Fortezza da Basso. Florence Baptistery and San Lorenzo Church are also within 15 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is only a 3-minute walk and Porta al Prato Station is 11 minutes.

      Grand Hotel Cavour ¥15,030
      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.

        Grand Hotel Baglioni ¥14,356
        Grand Hotel Baglioni

        Grand Hotel Baglioni

        Piazza Unita Italiana 6, Florence, FI
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Duomo, this boutique hotel is steps from Via Faenza and Santa Maria Novella Basilica and Museum. San Lorenzo Church and Florence Baptistery are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is only a 4-minute walk and Porta al Prato Station is 15 minutes.

          Maxim Axial ¥9,893
          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, Florence Baptistery, 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.

            TSH Florence Lavagnini ¥10,067
            TSH Florence Lavagnini

            TSH Florence Lavagnini

            Viale Spartaco Lavagnini 70 72, Florence
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in San Lorenzo, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Gallery of the Academy of Florence and Florence Baptistery. Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower and Piazza della Signoria are also within 1 mi (2 km). Florence Statuto Station is 9 minutes by foot and Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 12 minutes.

              Orto De Medici Hotel ¥14,101
              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, Gallery of the Academy of Florence, and Statue of David. San Lorenzo Church and Florence Baptistery are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 13 minutes by foot and Florence Statuto Station is 17 minutes.

                Hotel Laurus al Duomo ¥26,873
                Hotel Laurus al Duomo

                Hotel Laurus al Duomo

                Via Cerretani, 54r, Florence, FI
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Duomo, this hotel is steps from Via de' Tornabuoni and Florence Baptistery. Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower and San Lorenzo Church are also within 5 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 6 minutes by foot and Porta al Prato Station is 19 minutes.