Basilica of Santa Croce | Tours and things to do | Florence attractions

Basilica of Santa Croce


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Known as the Basilica di Santa Croce in Italian, the Holy Cross is the principal Franciscan church in Florence. Located on the vast Piazza Santa Croce, it is best known for its great artistic wealth and for being the burial place for some illustrious Florentine personalities, such as Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli.
According to the legend, the Basilica of Santa Croce was founded by Saint Francis himself. However, the current building was rebuilt in 1294 for the Franciscan Order.
The chapels, in its interior, are beautifully decorated with frescoes by Giotto and his pupils. Some of those frescoes depict the story of the holy cross, while others show scenes from the life of Saint Francis and Saint John the Evangelist.