The Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence is one of the major attractions of the city. Located in the historic center, it enchants tourists and Florentines themselves not only for its external magnificence, but also for all the beauties it contains.
It is a place rich in history, which has become a real monumental complex in which works of inestimable value are collected which fortunately can be visited thanks to the opening to the public.
To be able to observe them better, here are all the information on timetables, tickets and how to get to the Basilica of Santa Croce.
- Where is it and how to get there
- Hours and prices
- Tours, guided tours and tickets online
- What to see and how to visit Basilica of Santa Croce
- Useful tips for visiting the attraction
- Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief
- User questions and comments
Where is it and how to get there
- On foot: the Basilica is located in the historic center of Florence. It can be reached on foot very easily, given its central position: from the Piazza della Stazione it is about 20 minutes on foot. To reach it from Piazzale Michelangelo instead just cross the Ponte alle Grazie and continue for a few hundred meters northwards - Get directions
- By bus: from the railway station you can reach the Basilica by bus 22, C4 and C2. You will have to get off at the Ghibellina Pepi stop and continue on foot for a couple of minutes
Hours and prices
The timetables and tickets to visit the Monumental Complex of Santa Croce are valid for the Museum, the Basilica, the Cloisters and the Pazzi Chapel. The purchase of tickets can be done directly on the museum portal, taking care to pay exclusively by credit card. If, in addition to the ticket, you also want to take advantage of the earphones, there is a surcharge of € 1,50.
- Mon-Sat 9: 30-17: 30; Sunday, Epiphany, Mid-August, All Saints and Immaculate Conception 14: 00-17: 30; closed on New Year's Eve, Easter, 13th June, 4th October, Christmas and Boxing day
- Best time to avoid queues: at opening hours (9:30) or during lunch time, between 13:00 and 14:30
- full € 8,00
- Reductions: € 6,00 for minors from 11 to 17 years, groups of at least 15 people, school groups
- Free: for children under 11, resident in Florence and its province, disabled people and carers, authorized tour guides, authorized tour leaders, teachers with school groups
Tours, guided tours and tickets online
What to see and how to visit Basilica of Santa Croce
As already mentioned, the complex includes the Museum, the Basilica, the Cloisters and the Pazzi Chapel, all of which can be visited with the same ticket. If you already have a basic knowledge, you can also proceed following the path of the structure, if instead you want more help you can opt for the audio guide, a recommended choice which however takes more time.
Basilica of the Holy Cross
Fulcrum of the Monumental Complex, the Basilica of Santa Croce is one of the greatest examples of Florentine art and architecture. Inside are the Crucifix by Donatello, the only wooden work that has survived to date, and the Medici Chapel, built by Michelozzo, the architect of the Medici family. Here it is still possible to see a remains of a fragment of a fresco with the Disputa del Tempio by Taddeo Gaddi.
The Basilica is also the seat of illustrious tombs among which we mention the sepulchres of Michelangelo (made by Vasari), Galileo, Leon Battista Alberti, Vittorio Alfieri, Ugo Foscolo.
Of particular importance are also the Annunciation Cavalcanti by Donatello, in gilded and polychrome stone, most likely made in 1435 under commission of the Cavalcanti family, ed the pulpit by Benedetto da Maiano, with an octagonal base and finely worked with 5 bas-reliefs representing the life of St. Francis.
Museum of the Opera of Santa Croce
The Museo dell'Opera is the seat of important works, among which the main ones are onebronze statue made by Donatello depicting San Lodovico di Tolosa, glazed terracotta by Della Robbia, sculptures and paintings.
The part that is most successful with visitors is the Fourteenth-century refectory, seat of the Crucifix by Cimabue, symbol of modern painting and the flood that hit Florence in 1966, and of the frescoes by Taddeo Gaddi and Orcagna.
Accessible through a beautiful cloister, this chapel was built by Brunelleschi and was adorned with decorations of particular value, made by Desiderio da Settignano and Luca and Andrea della Robbia.
Useful tips for visiting the attraction
- Get up early: the ideal is to reach the complex before 9:00, so that you can enter immediately without queuing up, and have the whole half day to visit it.
- Ticket: on the official website it is possible to book a ticket even not linked to a specific day, which is valid for 6 months from the date of purchase.
- Watch out for restrictions: it is always recommended to follow the basic rules of a church. Phones turned off, no water or food and appropriate clothing.
- Minimum time: 2 hours should be enough to see everything, even if the ideal would be to have at least 3 hours available.
Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief
The Basilica of Santa Croce is the most loved church by the Florentines. Begun in 1200 on a project by Arnolfo di Cambio, it stands on an existing church, which was located outside the city walls.
The only useful way to visit it is by walking, since the attractions are all contained within the perimeter of the basilica, which is on a single floor.
There are also three different entrances: two side, one of which is also suitable for the handicapped, and a front dedicated to groups, which is located in Piazza Santa Croce.