Basilica Of Santa Croce Overview

The Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence is one of the largest Franciscan churches in the world. Construction of the basilica began in 1294, just four years after the death of Saint Francis of Assisi, and it was consecrated in 1442. The basilica is most notable for its ornate architecture and for its association with some of Italy’s most famous historical figures. Many of the country’s greatest artists, including Michelangelo and Galileo, are buried within its walls.

The Basilica of Santa Croce is the principal Franciscan church in Florence and a minor basilica of the Roman Catholic Church. It was built in the 13th century and is one of the most important examples of Gothic architecture in Italy. The construction began in 1294 but suffered delays and was only consecrated by Pope Eugenius IV on March 25, 1443.

The design of the building reflects the influence of Italian Gothic architecture. The exterior of brick faced with pietra serena (a type of polished limestone) displays three rose windows and two doors: the Gesù e Maria door to the left of center; and, above it, a 14th-century trefoil oculus; and the Foundling Hospital door to its right. The interior founded on a Latin cross-floor plan comprises a nave with side aisles. Of all Franciscan churches, this is closest to following that order's original design for its churches.

The Basilica is most famous for its frescoes, which were painted by some of the most renowned artists of the 14th and 15th centuries, including Giotto, Brunelleschi, Ghirlandaio, and Masaccio. The frescoes depict scenes from the life of Saint Francis of Assisi and other Franciscan saints.


• Explore the basilica's rich history through its many artworks and monuments.
• Observe the interior of the church which is decorated with frescoes by famous artists such as Giotto and Cimabue.
• Pay your respects at the burial site of some of Italy's greatest historical figures, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli.
• Learn more about the fascinating history of this powerful church and its role in the Florentine Renaissance
• Take a tour of the sixteen chapels adorned with frescoes by Giotto making it a truly unique and fascinating place to visit.
• Admire the church’s absolutely stunning intricate designs and beautiful paintings adorning every inch of the walls and ceilings.
• See the incredible architecture and art, including the large frescoes by Giotto.

How To Reach

  1. By Bus: The transit lines 23A, 23L, 25, 9, C2, C3 and CF runs through the route that passes through near the Basilica Santa Croce. The nearest bus stations are the Ghibellina Bargello and Ghibellina Pepi which are located at walking distance of around 4 mins only. Approx price taken is about €1.50 per person.
  2. By Light Rail: Another great way to commute and reach the location is through the Light Rail. One can take the light rail with lines T1, T2 as they stop near Basilica Santa Croce and costs about €1.50 per person on an average, which is quite affordable.

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Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Basilica Santa Croce in Florence is during the weekdays as the attraction remains sparsely populated in comparison to weekends. However, if you still have to go during the weekends, plan your visit during the early opening hours to catch less crowd.

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Other Essential Information

Tips To Visit Basilica Of Santa Croce:

  • Keeping in mind the religious aspect of the attraction, dress decently so that it covers shoulders and legs.
  • Don’t touch any of the monuments or art work as it is strictly forbidden.
  • Don’t bring anything edible inside the premises as eating inside is not allowed.
  • Refrain from bringing any tripod or drone, and also, flash photography is not allowed.
  • Visitors with hearing aid or eye sight impairment are advised to keep a declaration form with them in case of being accompanied by a guide dog.
  • Book your entry ticket to Basilica of Santa Croce online in advance and ensure your entry on your preferred date and time. 
  • Do not bring luggage or large bags during the visit.

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Day Wise Timings
Open Today
Normal Timings:
09:30 AM to 05:30 PM
Normal Timings:
09:30 AM to 05:30 PM
Normal Timings:
09:30 AM to 05:30 PM
Normal Timings:
09:30 AM to 05:30 PM
Normal Timings:
09:30 AM to 05:30 PM
Normal Timings:
09:30 AM to 05:30 PM
Normal Timings:
12:30 PM to 05:45 PM
Point of Interest for Basilica Of Santa Croce


One of the many Renaissance treasures that you’ll find on your visit to the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence is its chapels. The chapels were built by renowned families to honor and dedicate it to their favorite saints. Among the eight chapels, there are five east-facing chapels open off the transepts, in which, the Vernio Chapel depicting the works of San Silvestro has a farmer crucifix. Designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, a famous Renaissance-era architect, is the famous Pazzi Chapel that will leave you spellbound. Other famous chapels which you’ll come across during your exploration are Chancel and Bardi Chapels.

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The Central Nave

The Central Nave

The Museums

The Museums

The Basilica of Santa Croce, established on 2nd November 1900 welcomes almost a million visitors in a year from all over the world. Consisting of sculptures, sketches, wooden furniture, sketches, frescos and reliefs, the museum is filled with marvelous things to which one can admire. The museum at present separates the two cloisters, the wing of the Franciscan convent and the former refectory. Initially, this place only had collections of materials from the Opera's storage facility, but it started enriching its displays by adding artwork that truly honors the years of masterpieces in Florence.

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The Refectory is a magnificent open area with a trussed wooden ceiling. The social events represented in Taddeo Gaddi's frescoes on the back wall highlights the room's original purpose. This is where the community of friars would eat together, typically to the accompaniment of a reading from a religious text. The art work in the south aisle of the church such as the Triumph of Death, Hell and the Last Judgment painted by Andrea Orcagna are worth a glimpse. Late with time, many art pieces were added adorning the refectory. 



The cloisters are the one which connects different areas inside the premises with each other. It also includes those which were privately used by the secular members of the confraternitie or influential people with family vaults. For better understanding of the concept, a Florentine painter drew a painting of ‘Bird's Eye View of the Santa Croce Complex’ in 1718. One of the main highlights of the museums is the painting of the Last Supper and the Life Tree, the work of Taddeo Gaddi. Other works displays of Museo dell’Opera di Santa Croce include Della Robbia ceramics to the frescoes by Jacopo Ligozzi, Andrea Orcagna and more work by Donatello.

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Basilica Of Santa Croce Reviews

Dipak Kotadiya
Reviewed: 07 Sep 2022
I visited Santa Croce Basilica last week with my tickets from Thrillophilia. I must say, it was a very peaceful experience there and I was so delighted to see the stunning architectural design of this famous church.
Diya M
Reviewed: 19 Oct 2022
This historical attraction in Florence City was a true treasure that I visited. Thrillophilia included a lot of added benefits in their tickets to this basilica, and all of that helped me to learn a lot about the history of this structure, as well as see the masterpieces by many Italian painters. Th... Read More
Keerti Sinha
Reviewed: 27 Dec 2021
What a wonderful exhibition of artwork. We are eternally grateful to Thrillophilia for planning out this excellent trip for us. We were able to see the creations of world famous artists and also the tombs of some of the greatest personalities here.
Rahul Sharma
Reviewed: 18 Mar 2022
We booked these Basilica of Santa Croce tickets on our Florence visit on our Thrillophilia tour manager's recommendation at really great discount. We are extremely grateful to him for recommending such an excellent location. It was not only incredible in terms of architecture and collections, also a... Read More

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