Piazza di Santa Croce in Florence is the site of the famous Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross). This piazza is also the site of the annual soccer game in medieval costume called Calcio Storico.
Check out these lovely illustrations on the facade of the buildings around Piazza Santa Croce. If you are looking at the Basilica head on, the building below is to your right.
They were preparing for an event when we got there as they put up barriers surrounding the middle of the piazza and bleachers were being erected. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make for a picturesque sight.
Below is a photo of Basilica di Santa Croce, the burial place of many famous individuals including Michelangelo Buonarroti, Niccolo Machiavelli, Galileo Galilei and Lorenzo Ghiberti (the artist who created the Gates of Paradise which I covered on a previous blog). Check out that marble facade. Doesn’t it remind you of the Duomo? But, it’s not as elaborate.
Here are some details of the facade of the basilica. These are located above the doors.
Some carving details on the front doors of the basilica.
A couple of the tombs inside the basilica:
In front of the Basilica stands an enormous marble statue of Dante. Dante plays a prominent role in Italian culture. The Divine Comedy was the first literature written in Italian not Latin which made it more accessible to more audiences. I’ve only read the first installation, Hell or Inferno for school and it left such an impression on me. One of these days I will get around to reading Purgatorio and Paradiso. If you’d like to know more about Dante and his works, I’ve provided some links at the end of this blog.
Some parting shots of the basilica. The last one was taken from Piazzale Michelangelo.
Here are some links for your further reading:
- Santa Croce Church and Museum: http://www.museumsinflorence.com/musei/museum_of_opera_s_croce.html
- Divine Comedy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_Comedy
- Art in Tuscany: http://www.casasantapia.com/engels/firenze/santacroce.htm
- Dante Alighieri: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dante_Alighieri