Santa Croce (shown in the photo to the left from the Dumo's tower) is the burial place of many of the giants of Renaissance. Rebuilt in its present from for the Franciscans in 1294 by Arnolfo di Cambio, its impressive exterior is covered by a polychrome marble, reminiscent of the Duomo Cathedral. (photo to the right) Unlike the Duomo, however, the rest of the structure remains finished in stonework. The interior of Santa Croce is interesting both for the artwork as well as the crypts that it contains. It includes frescoes by Gaddi and Giotto. On the south wall of the nave is a Donatello relief in gilded limestone, the Annunciation. Just as impressive as the artwork is the pantheon of Renaissance greats entombed within Santa Croce's walls. Perhaps the most honored is Dante Alighieri. The photo to the right shows a stature of Dante outside the church, while the photo to the right is of his crypt inside the church. Dante himself, however does not reside here--he was buried in Ravenna. The occupied crypts in Santa Croce read like a "Who's Who" of the Renaissance. The table at the bottom of the page contains pictures of the crypts of these famous Renaissance men--Dante, Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli. Next to Santa Croce is the Cappella dei Pazzi, containing cloisters, the Pazzi chapel, and the beautiful gardens shown to the right.
Renaissance Greats Entombed in Santa Croce