Piazza Santa Croce, dominated by the Basilica of Santa Croce, is one of the most important squares in central Florence. Home to the intricately frescoed 17th-century Palazzo dell’Antella and the 15th-century Palazzo Cocchi-Serristori, this vibrant public space hosts a number of outdoor markets and fairs each year.
Adjacent to the magnificent Basilica of Santa Croce, which houses a treasure trove of works by Giotto, Gaddi, della Robbia, and Donatello, Piazza Santa Croce is a highlight of any visit to Florence. The basilica is among the most visited in the city and there are often long lines to enter; book a guided tour with skip-the-line entrance in advance in the crowded summer months.
Most city walking tours or sightseeing tours by Segway, bike, or electric golf cart include a stop at Piazza Santa Croce and its basilica along with other famous sights like the Uffizi and Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell'Accademia).
Things to Know Before You Go
- Piazza Santa Croce is lined with restaurants and cafés, perfect for a snack or drink.
- Flat and paved, the square is easy to navigate with wheelchairs or strollers.
- Be sure to wear a hat and sunscreen if visiting in summer as the square has no shade.
- The Basilica of Santa Croce requires modest clothing covering shoulders and knees to enter.
How to Get There
Piazza Santa Croce is in the historical center of Florence, just a short walk from the cathedral (Duomo), Piazza della Signoria, and Santa Maria Novella train station.
When to Get There
Florence is one of the most visited cities in Italy, and its main squares are hot and crowded in summer. Visit in spring or fall to enjoy these outdoor spaces with milder temperatures and smaller crowds. Piazza Santa Croce hosts a number of markets and fairs each year, including a Christmas market, antique markets, food fairs, and a raucous historical-football match each June.
The Basilica of Santa Croce’s Famous Tombs
The Santa Croce Basilica was long the preferred burial place for famous Italian artists and luminaries, and the church is home to dozens of tombs and funerary monuments honoring everyone from Leonardo da Vinci to Enrico Fermi. The most famous tombs are those of Michelangelo, Galileo, Ghiberti, and Machiavelli.