Things to do in
Basilica of Santa Croce

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Basilica of Santa Croce: Our most recommended tours and activities

Florence: Eco Tour by Electric Cart

1. Florence: Eco Tour by Electric Cart

Explore the historic center of Florence by electric golf cart and leave your conscience clean as you cover more sights than possible on a walking tour. Climb aboard the eco-friendly cart in Piazza S. Firenze and drive through the streets of the Renaissance city, passing Piazza Signoria and the Porcellino Market. Continue to the Duomo and marble façade of the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella. Journey along the banks of the River Arno to Piazza Ognissanti. An MP3 player will be provided with commentary about the history of the city and its sites so that you can sit back and relax as your escort drives you across the Santa Trinita Bridge. Marvel at the Pitti Palace and Ponte Vecchio. Continue to the Ponte alle Grazie, rebuilt after it was destroyed in World War II. Go to the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale (National Central Library) on PIazza Santa Croce to see the largest library in Italy.

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Florence: Entrance Ticket to Santa Croce Basilica Complex

2. Florence: Entrance Ticket to Santa Croce Basilica Complex

Cross the threshold of an ancient monumental complex founded by the Franciscans in the early thirteenth century. The complex is still perfectly preserved to this day. See famous works of art and be inspired by this unique complex, where art, tradition, and spirituality are all intertwined. There are thousands of masterpieces of inestimable value that, over the centuries, have made Santa Croce a unique place and an unmissable destination from the time of the 'Grand Tour' up until the modern day. Discover works by Cimabue, Giotto, Brunelleschi, Donatello Bronzino, Vasari, and Canova. Be inspired by the monumental tombs the greatest historical figures in Italy including Dante, Machiavelli, Michelangelo, Galileo, Alfieri, Rossini, and Foscolo. Enter the Pazzi Chapel, designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, one of the most famous architects of the Renaissance period. Walk through the ancient cenacle and experience the atmosphere of the Franciscan convent whilst crossing through the cloisters.

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Florence: Small-Group Tour on E-Bike w/ Michelangelo Square

3. Florence: Small-Group Tour on E-Bike w/ Michelangelo Square

Cycle through the city of Florence to discover the hidden treasures of the birthplace of the Renaissance. Listen to captivating stories while touring through many of the significant squares that make Florence so rich in history and art. Discover the Medici Palace, which was the home of Cosimo the Elder and the workplace of Donatello, Michelangelo, and Botticelli. Then visit the Republic Square, one of the main squares in Florence that has formed the city center since Roman times. Also, visit Michelangelo Square, to take in the best panoramic views of the city. Discover the captivating history of the city that gave birth to incredible artists and amazing scientists.

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Florence: 2.5-Hour Guided Bike Tour

4. Florence: 2.5-Hour Guided Bike Tour

Discover Florence by bike and see more of the city in less time. This bike tour follows unbeaten paths too far to reach by foot and too narrow for busses. In 2.5 hours, encounter Florence's most important historical and artistic places. Meet your guide at the agency, wear your helmet, and get on your bike to start touring Florence. Your guide will lead you to reach some of the most amazing and secluded monuments in the historical center of Florence. On this tour visit major points of interest in the historical center including Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Cappelle Medicee, Mercato Centrale, Piazza della Repubblica, Santo Spirito, Palazzo Pitti, Ponte Vecchio, Santa Croce, Piazza della Signoria, Casa di Dante, and Piazza del Duomo. Also explore the city's different districts of San Lorenzo and Oltarano. Throughout the tour, you will stop at several locations to learn about the city's history and some fun facts. You'll also be shown the best places to find gelato, bistecca alla fiorentina, and truffles. The highlight of this bike tour is a stop at Piazzale Michelangelo to experience stunning views of Florence.

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Florence: 1.5-Hour Esoteric Guided Walking Tour

5. Florence: 1.5-Hour Esoteric Guided Walking Tour

Discover the darker, esoteric side of Florence's churches, temples, and streets on a walking tour alongside a local guide. Explore the secret meaning behind the facades of the Basilicas of Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella, learn about necromancy in Piazza Santa Croce and decipher the palindrome in the Florence Baptistery. Listen to the story of the legendary knight Pazzino dei Pazzi, and reconstruct the arsenic poisoning of an associate of Lorenzo the Magnificant, Pico della Mirandola in 1494. Learn the story of Friar Girolamo Savonarola, the Dominican hanged and burned at the stake in 1498 in Piazza della Signoria. End your tour at the statue of Ferdinand I in Piazza Santissima, and count the bees for good luck.

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Florence Santa Croce Church Tour

6. Florence Santa Croce Church Tour

Start the tour in the main square, where the famous soccer game played in medieval costumes, the Calcio Storico Florentino, takes place here every year in June. Your guide will describe in detail of all the immense artistic wealth in Santa Croce; frescoes (1380) by Gaddi in the Cappella Maggiore tell the story of "Santa Croce", and beautiful frescoes by Giotto in the Bardi and Peruzzi Chapels show scenes from the life of St. Francis and St. John the Evangelist. On your way to the left of the entrance, see the memorial of the 19th-century playwright Giovanni Battista Niccolini built as an inspiration for the Statue of Liberty. As you walk through the hallowed walls, learn about the art of Donatello and his crucifix, one of the jewels of the Renaissance, as well as the art of Brunelleschi and the perfect architectural harmony of his Chapel of Fools. See the monumental cemetery and damaged paintings and that was destroyed in the tragic flood of 1966 and have been subsequently restored. After visiting the interior, learn about the exterior which is covered with a polychrome marble façade. Finally, the guide will tour you around the Bell Tower, Crypt and the 16 chapels. The tour takes about an hour, and you will have the opportunity to return to anything you might want to see again after the tour ends.

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Florence: Eco-Friendly Golf Cart City Tour

7. Florence: Eco-Friendly Golf Cart City Tour

Hop on an electronic golf cart and discover the history of Florence in an entertaining, relaxing, and eco-friendly way. After meeting your driver, head to Ponte Vecchio and follow the Ponte Santa Trinita to reach the Arno to the Oltrarno area, where you can admire the majestic Palazzo Pitti. Pass under the Vasari Coridor on your way back to the city center. Here, admire the architectural style of the Basilica of Santa Croce, the National Library and the back of the Cathedral with the famous Brunelleschi's Dome. Next, see one of the oldest hospitals in the world and the headquarters of the Medici family. Discover the legend of "Berta" and glide past the central train station. Continue towards the Santa Maria Novella with its impressive Renaissance facade. Finally, arrive at the Ognissanti district, gaze at the old city walls, and hear interesting facts and stories about Florentine traditions. Alternatively, you may choose to extend your tour and visit the iconic Piazzale Michelangelo.

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Florence: Guided City Bike Tour

8. Florence: Guided City Bike Tour

Explore the heart of Florence on a guided bike tour around the city’s most unforgettable spots. Ride down characteristic streets, through popular squares, and across historic bridges. Learn about the city through commentary from your local guide. The itinerary begins where the Medici family began to wield their power in Florence. See their stately palace and the Basilica of San Lorenzo. Next, pass by the medieval baptistery on your way to Piazza della Republica, the site of the ancient forum where the city’s history began. Then, reach the Arno River stopping to admire the Renaissance architecture. Cross the bridge designed by Michelangelo and get a stunning view of the famous Ponte Vecchio. Continue on to explore the other side of town. Ride through Piazza Santo Spirito and stop to admire the grand Pitti Palace. Ride alongside the Arno to cross back over the river and proceed to Santa Croce and Piazza della Signoria. Later, head to Cathedral Square as the tour circles around the landmark site with its incredible dome.

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Florence: Electric Bike Tour with Wine & Local Products

9. Florence: Electric Bike Tour with Wine & Local Products

Cruise comfortably and effortlessly by electric bicycle, admiring the glorious juxtaposition of the rural Tuscan landscape with Florence's urban vibrancy. Cross the region's gorgeous hillside eventually arriving in the picturesque town of Fiesole for an insight into the relaxed, country lifestyle. Continue along peaceful archaic roads to a charming organic farm. Admire the harmonious scenery, Renaissance-era cloister, and even sample some of the produce (not included). Visit the Piazzale Michelangelo, enjoying an unforgettable view overlooking all of Florence. See the magnificent Romanesque basilica of San Miniato al Monte. Before heading back to where the tour started, a small Osteria will delight you with some wine, accompanied by a taste of Florentine food.

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Best of Italy: 5-Day Escorted Tour from Rome

10. Best of Italy: 5-Day Escorted Tour from Rome

Over the course of five days, visit the most enchanting locations of Italy, soaking up art, culture, cuisine and the famous Italian romance. Led by a friendly guide, depart from Rome and visit Assisi, Siena, Florence, Pisa, Bologna, Padova, Venice and Montepulciano. See masterpieces from the likes of Michelangelo, Giotto, and Cimabue. Roam ancient cobbled streets, marvel at magnificent cathedrals, and taste delightful wines. This tour aims to inform and entertain you at the same time. Staying in comfy accommodation and traveling by deluxe bus, touring Italy couldn’t be easier. With 4 meals provided for you, plus an excellent itinerary and knowledgeable guides, sit back, relax and "get Italian". Day 1 Depart from Rome at 7:15 AM heading towards Assisi. Explore this tiny town dating back to the Middle Ages. Visit the Basilica of St. Francis and see works by Giotto and Cimabue. Afterwards drive towards Siena, whose highlight is Piazza del Campo. Continue to Florence where you will check in at your hotel before enjoying dinner (included) and a well-deserved night of rest. Day 2: Florence After breakfast, spend the day exploring Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance. Visit the Duomo, the Campanile Tower, Palazzo Vecchio and the Basilica of Santa Croce. Lunch (for free) in a typical Tuscan restaurant in Piazza Santa Croce. In the afternoon, wander the cobbled streets or take a short, optional trip to Pisa where you could enjoy a tour of the Square of Miracles, the Leaning Tower and the Duomo. Dinner is at your leisure. Back in Florence rest in your hotel and recharge your batteries for the next day. Day 3 Depart for Bologna after breakfast in Florence. Wander through the city’s 38 kilometers' worth of elegant arcades, for which it is famous. From Piazza Malpighi, walk to Piazza del Nettuno and Piazza Maggiore in the heart of the city. In the afternoon, continue towards Padova, with its original Sant’Antonio Basilica. Later, you will arrive in Venice, famous for its quaint gondola boats and intricate architecture. Check in at your hotel and enjoy your first Venetian dinner (included) and overnight stay. Day 4: Venice Hit the water and board a private waterbus to enjoy a cruise through the canals of Venice. Stop off at Murano to learn about the ancient art of glass blowing. Continue on to St. Mark’s Square for an exterior visit of the splendid cathedral. See the Doge Palace and the Bridge of Sighs. Spend the afternoon roaming along Venice’s canals at your leisure and then return to the hotel for an overnight stay. Day 5 After breakfast, departure from Piazzale Roma heading to Tuscany, world-known for its landscapes, its churches, castles and its delicious wines. Proceed to Val di Chiana with a stop in Montepulciano, a medieval town rich in history and art. Known for its “Noble” wine, on purchase in local wine houses, Montepulciano also hosts an annual jazz and wine festival every July. Lunch in a typical restaurant included! Spend the afternoon discovering Montepulciano at your own pace, enjoying free wine tastings in many wine shops and free time for shopping. In the evening, you will arrive in Rome, where the tour ends.

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What people are saying about Basilica of Santa Croce

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 958 reviews

Great way to discover the city with its many narrow streets. Provides you with a fantastic first overview and the stories and tips which help you to plan the next activities. Here you also have a great opportunity to ask many questions and dive into the local culture.

Fue la mejor elección que he realizado para un tour, nuestra guía era súper lista tenía muchísimos conocimientos, aprendimos mucho y nos encanto cada detalle, ampliamente recomendado, Gracias!

As we walked around Florence she shared all.sorts of interesting history with us about the buildings we were seeing. It was fascinating.

We had a wonderful time, relaxed and learned about Florence with our pre-teen twins:).

A wonderful way to get to see and learn about Florence.