Short Walk In Florence: Piazza Santa Croce

By: Simone Alfaweb

Starting from the hotels in the centre of Florence, one of the itineraries not to miss is the one of Piazza Santa Croce, one of the most beautiful square of Florence. The square is in the historical center, not far from the Duomo (15 minutes walking), passing through Piazza della Signoria and Borgo dei Greci. Although a map of the city is available, for free, in all of the hotels halls of the centre of Florence. If your accommodation is not so close to the centre many services are available to reach the centre: taxi, driven car rentals, buses and train for who arrive from the suburbs.

Piazza Santa Croce is placed in front of the church of Santa Croce, in the centre of Florence, and take its name from it, that square was built in medieval times to host the great number of people that attended to the religius ceremonies. In Renaissance times the square was also used to the fun activities of Florence, as festivals, shows, rides and games like the Calcio storico (Historical Football). This game, more similar to the Rugby than to the modern football, was played the day of San Giovanni (24 of June) in 3 matches within 4 teams, one team for each of the historical quarter of Florence ("white" team for Santo Spirito, "blue" team for Santa Croce, "red" team for Santa Maria Novella and "greeen" team for San Giovanni).

Overlooking the square is the church of Santa Croce, that was built from the Franciscan Friars between the 13th and 14th century, with a facade built only in the 19th century in neogothical style, that have on its left the monumental statue of Dante Alighieri. Dated from the same period of the facade and of the Dante's statue of the square, on the opposite side of the church, there is a baroque fountain, originally realised by Pietro Maria Bardi and remaed in the 19th century by Roberto Manetti. Entering the church from the main door, walking along the main aisle, is noticeable immediately the austerity and the vastenss of the enviroments, and on the perimeter many chapels (some of them frescoed by Giotto, Maso di Banco etc..) destinated to the bury of the noble of Florence (Peruzzi, Bardi, Baroncelli, Pulci.Bardi) that paid, with their donations, the built of the church. Santa Croce is famous in the world also to be the burial of many very important people of the policy, of the history and of the litterture of Italy, here there are the burial of Ugo Foscolo, Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei, Gioacchino Rossini, Leon Battista Alberti, Vittorio Alfieri.

Next to the church there is one of the major convent of Florence, today home of one beautiful museum, where are exposed the ancient treasures of the church, like the crufix of Cimabue.

Over Piazza Santa Croce are overlooking many palaces too, some of them especially beautiful. For example Palazzo dell'Antella thet have a long facade decored, in the first years of the 17th century, with frescoes representing themes of wisdoms and divinity.

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