José A. Navarro

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Piazza di Santa Croce ,
Florencia, Toscana, Italia

In one of the sides of Piazza di Santa Croce stays the basilica of the same name. The building of the basilica of Santa Croce began in 1294, both having been designed by Arnolfo di Cambio. Franciscan church is the largest in the world. Subsidized by the people and the Florentine Republic, was built on a small church near the town walls, built by the Franciscans in 1252 shortly after the death of San Francisco. The remains of the old church could not be located until 1966 when, following the floods that devastated the city, part of the pavement of the current basilica collapsed.

Historically, Santa Cruz was a prestigious symbol of the city of Florence and a place of reunion for the greatest artists, theologians, religious, and political men of letters. But it was also for the powerful families, both in prosperity and in adversity, participated in creating the identity of the Florence of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. Her convent offered hospitality to the most famous in the history of the church: San Buenaventura, San Antonio de Padua, St. Bernardino of Siena, Saint Louis of Anjou, Bishop of Toulouse. He served also as a place of retreat and rest for several popes: Sixtus IV, Eugenius IV, Leo X, Clement XIV. With its impressive Gothic architecture, its beautiful frescoes, altarpieces of the altar along with the beautiful stained glass windows and numerous sculptures, this church is one of the most important pages in the history of Florentine art from the thirteenth century.

The basilica has been defined as the Pantheon of Italian glories, because the church houses the tombs of famous personalities such as Niccolò Machiavelli, Galileo Galilei, Michelangelo, Gioacchino Rossini, Vasari, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Vittorio Alfieri and Ugo Foscolo.