A Florence Gem…


Santa Croce Basilica, Florence

There are many gems in Florence, but on a recent visit, we had a chance to spend time in one of our favorites which we recommend; The Basilica di Santa Croce, situated about 800 meters south east of the Duomo. The Basilica became popular with Florentines as a place of worship and patronage and customary for greatly honored Florentines to be buried or commemorated there… Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Foscolo, Rossini, Ghiberti and Marconi among them. Thus the Basilica is also known as the Temple of the Italian Glories. The Basilica is the largest Franciscan church in the world. Its most notable features are its sixteen chapels, many of them decorated with frescoes by Giotto and his pupils.

The magnificent Museo dell’Opera di Santa Croce is off the cloister where a monument to Florence Nightingale, who was born in Florence, stands. Artists whose work is present in the church include: Cimabue (Crucifixion, badly damaged by the 1966 flood and now in the refectory). Andrea della Robbia (altarpiece in Cappella Medici). Luca della Robbia (decoration of Cappella dei Pazzi). Donatello (relief of the Annunciation on the south wall; crucifix in the Cappella Bardi). Giotto (frescoes in Cappella Peruzzi, Cappella Bardi and in Cappella Baroncelli). Giorgio Vasari (Michelangelo’s tomb). It will take time to appreciate all there is to see here, but it is time well worth it. Then, rest your legs in one of the many wonderful trattorias….

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