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[Florence] Basilica di Santa Croce

We visited tombs of Michelangelo & Dante at Basilica di Santa Croce, The Temple of Italian Glories


Previous entry: [Florence] Crossing the Ponte Vecchio

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Basilica di Santa Croce has officially become my favourite church. The final resting place of many illustrious Italians like Michelangelo and Galileo Galilei, it is also known as the Temple of Italian Glories and houses a huge collection of gorgeous and intricately designed memorials. I like the tomb sculptures more than the regular sculptures. I think it's because of the emotions and sense of loss associated with those beautifully carved blocks of marble.


Basilica di Santa Croce is a modest building, elegant for sure, but not showy. When we entered the basilica, it was raining, so pictures of the exterior were taken in the evening when we were living.

Ivy caught this beautiful picture of the building basking in the glorious sunset.



Landscape of Piazza di Santa Croce in front of the church.


My camera's really on a roll with panorama pictures!

My bladder was literally bursting when I arrived at the Basilica. Public toilets are non-existent and the area we passed had no shopping malls. We did pass a toilet that commanded a 1 euro entry fee which we thought was hefty. In Singapore, we already complain about 10 cent toilets. Anyway I was so glad to find a toilet at the Basilica that I didn't even mind paying 0.5 euros for it. I mean, I didn't exactly have a choice. On the bright side, the toilet was extremely bright, clean, modern-looking with a faregate and change machine. I was so grateful for the change machine. The public toilet at a London train station didn't have one and I saw a woman attempt force-entry by climbing over the faregate.

Admission into the Basilica costs 6 euros, and a souvenir map costs 0.5 euros, which we purchased. The basilica is huge with many pieces of art, so the map, despite not being informative, tells you exactly where all the must-see art are.

The basilica is immense inside with many chapels and memorials.

This is the Gerini Altar (high altar) featuring the wooden crucifix of Christ by Maestro di Figline.



Below the crucifix is Niccolo di Pietro Gerini’s Polyptych with Madonna and Saints.


Benches for mass

Selfie with Christ!


Knave of the church

All these niches with altars are chapels.


The Bardi Chapel


Madonna and Child with Angels and Saints

More altars:


The Baroncelli Chapel is larger than the other chapels and houses several altars, frescoes and sculptures:


Baroncelli Polyptych is a panel wood painting (below those amazing stained glass windows) by Giotto and/or Taddeo Gaddi. It was commissioned by the Baroncelli family in 1327 for the chapel.

Madonna of the Cintola by Sebastiano Mainardi


Ceiling above the chapel.

A visitor information board.

Stories of the Virgin Mary by Taddeo Gaddi

Huge fresco Crucifixion by Taddeo Gaddi.

I can't find the name of this monument, but I believe it celebrates the Virgin Mary. You can put 2 euros in the donation box to make a candle offering.

Left: Tomb monument of composer Gioacchino Rossini by Giuseppe Cassioli
Right: Tomb monument of humanist scholar Leonardo Bruni by Bernardo Rossellino



Tomb of scientist Galileo Galilei by Giulio Foggini. The monument contains three statues: Galileo with his left hand on an orb representing celestial objects, and his right holding a telescope, staring off into the Universe; and two allegorical sculptures representing Geometry and Philosophy.



Monument to humanist Carlo Marsuppini by Desiderio da Settignano.

Tomb monument for Statesman Count Vittorio Fossombroni by Lorenzo Bartolini.

Tomb monument of statesman Marquis Gino Capponi by Antonio Bortone

Monument of Dramatist Giovanni Battista Niccolini as The Statue of Liberty, by Pio Fedi.


Monument to the famed artist Michelangelo Buonarroti. The frescoes were executed by Giovanni Battista Naldini. Michelangelo’s bust (by Battista Lorenzi) is surrounded by allegorical sculptures representing Sculpture, Architecture and Painting (the three wreath rings also represent the Arts). The Painting and Architecture are by Battista Lorenzi, and the Sculpture is by Valerio Cioli.

Monument to the poet Dante Alighieri by Stefano Ricci. The front of the cenotaph reads “Onorate L’Altissimo Poeta”, roughly: “Honor the Poet of the Highest Regard”. The sculpture on the right is an allegorical sculpture representing Poetry mourning the loss of Italy’s Supreme Poet. At left, an allegorical sculpture of Tyche (Fortuna) is presenting the sculpture of Dante atop the cenotaph. Tyche governed the fortune and prosperity of a city. Here, she seems to be saying: “This was your fortune”.

Thanks for reading! Full-resolution images (available for most landscape photos) can be accessed via this gallery.

Posted by kurodatenshi 06:01 Archived in Italy Tagged landscapes churches art buildings architecture landmarks italy basilica florence firenze marble

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