Santa Croce district is one of the ancient four quarters of the Medieval Florence. Once a swamp, often flooded by the river Arno, it became the base for the Franciscan friars that arrived in Florence in the 13th century. The construction of the Basilica and the beautiful square started in 1294 when Florence was the largest town in Europe. Santa Croce is also the district of Michelangelo Buonarroti: the greatest ever Florentine artist lived and worked close to the Santa Croce church.
The tour starts in Piazza Santa Croce and we will speak about the curiosities of this place, like the fact it has been used (and still is) to play historical football games. We will visit the Basilica di Santa Croce, known as the temple of Italian glories. Inside, you’ll see the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei, Niccolò Machiavelli, Gioacchino Rossini and more illustrious Italians. The church is filled with frescoes, mainly by Giotto and his followers, the pioneers that paved the way for the Renaissance. You will discover how Giorgio Vasari restructured the church after the Catholic counter-reformation, and you will see sculptures by Donatello, glazed terracotta by Luca Della Robbia and altarpieces by Bronzino. The sacristy features the symbol of the damage Florence suffered in the 1966 flood, a painted cross by Cimabue, and you will hear a story about the “Angels of Mud”.
Out in the courtyard of Santa Croce stands a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture: the Pazzi Chapel by Filippo Brunelleschi. You will relax sitting on the benches of the Chapel while your guide tells you about the Pazzi conspiracy, the plot to kill the members of the Medici family. Finally, we’ll visit the refectory of the convent, where is the most ancient Last Supper fresco in Florence.
We’ll leave Santa Croce to get to the Bargello Museum. The former prison now hosts a huge collection of Renaissance artwork, including some of the most beautiful statues by Donatello, like the Bronze David. You will see the panels of the competition for the Baptistery doors, that ignited the Renaissance, and the first statue made by Michelangelo, the famous Bacchus.
- Giorgio Vasari – Michelangelo’s tomb
- Giotto – Bardi and Peruzzi chapels
- Cimabue – Painted Cross
- Filippo Brunelleschi – Pazzi Chapel
- Taddeo Gaddi – Last Supper
- Donatello – Bronze David
- Michelangelo – Bacchus
|Pricing||Private tour – starts from € 42.50/person and varies based on the number of participants|
|Pick-up||Florence – via Magliabechi 16 (hotel pick-up available for selected hotels)|
|Drop-off||Florence – Piazza San Firenze|
|We schedule the tour upon request.
Based on the opening days/hours of the venues involved, we can provide the tour in the following days:
|Santa Croce opening hours can be changed during religious celebrations. Variations to the official opening schedule are updated week by week. We always take care to check and report any variation some days before the tour|
|The tour doesn’t involve a lot of walking, however it is recommended to wear comfortable shoes|
|The Basilica di Santa Croce, as any other church in Florence, requires tourists to be appropriately dressed. Make sure your shoulders and knees are covered|
|ID document is required to obtain ticket price reductions for children. This is mandatory (a photocopy is accepted)|
How is our Santa Croce Tour different?
First of all, it’s a private Santa Croce Tour. You won’t join any large or small group of tourists, it’s meant for you, your family and/or your friends. The Florence Tour Guide will be at your service for the duration of the tour, assisting you in buying skip the line tickets and explaining to you whatever you want to know.
Not a classic tour
Not many agencies, if any, provide such a complete Santa Croce Tour. We let you take advantage of the cumulative ticket which gives access to both the Basilica di Santa Croce and the Casa Buonarroti museum, making sure you don’t waste money. We include highlights that are not included in normal cheap group tours. We don’t rush you through the highlights of Santa Croce but introduce the youth of Michelangelo and the history of the Basilica.
Is our Santa Croce Tour expensive for you? Any agency will price a private 2 hours Tour no less than € 280, and they do not offer any specific Santa Croce Tour. Here you can hire directly a local genuine Florence Tour Guide, so you save any agency or middlemen fees, which means paying up to 60% less. The tour is certainly expensive if you travel alone, but it’s as low as € 56/person for a family of five, and even less if you travel with another family of friends: much less than any 2-hour Florence Day Tour offered online and much better than any shared group tour.
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