The Basilica of Santa Croce
Another of Florence’s incredible Gothic churches is the church of Santa Croce, which was built in the 14th century with the help of donations from some of the city’s richest families. Santa Croce is the main church of the Franciscans in Florence and has also been designated as a minor basilica for the Catholic Church, giving it a grand and significant heritage.
The Basilica of Santa Croce was referred to as ‘tempio dell’Itale glorie’, which translates to ‘temple of Italian glories’. This is in reference to the numerous famous Italian’s who are now buried in the church, such as the artist Michelangelo, the composer Gioachino Rossini, the influential physicist Galileo and poet Ugo Foscolo.
There are sixteen chapels to explore within Santa Croce, most of which were designed for the influential families living in Florence at the time the church was built. The most famous of these are the Cappella Peruzzi, Cappella Bardi and Cappella Pazzi, all complete with beautiful frescos and impressive examples of Renaissance architecture.
You can find this church close to the banks of the River Arno, beside the spectacular National Central Library which is known for being the largest of its kind in Italy.