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Basilica of Santa Croce

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Basilica of Santa Croce: Our most recommended tours and activities

Florence: Entrance Ticket to Santa Croce Basilica Complex

1. Florence: Entrance Ticket to Santa Croce Basilica Complex

Get skip-the-line tickets to the monumental ancient complex of Santa Croce, founded by the Franciscans in the early 13th century and perfectly preserved to this day. Admire famous works of art and be inspired by this unique complex, where art, tradition, and spirituality are all intertwined. Marvel at the 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 today. 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.

Florence: Eco Tour by Electric Cart

2. 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 San 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.

Florence Santa Croce Church Tour

3. 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.

Florence: E-Bike Tour w/ Michelangelo Square

4. Florence: E-Bike Tour 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.

Florence: 2-Hour Guided Bike Tour

5. Florence: 2-Hour Guided Bike Tour

Discover Florence’s rustic charm by bike. Follow paths too far to reach on foot and too narrow to reach by bus. See iconic monuments and find hidden gems with a professional history guide. Start your tour at the agency. Your experienced guide will lead you through the beautiful streets of the old town and the Oltrarno. See Florence’s famous landmarks, such as the Artisan district, Palazzo Pitti, San Frediano, Ponte Vecchio, the Uffizi square, Santa Croce, Piazza della Signoria, the Medieval district, the Duomo, and Piazza della Repubblica. Pause throughout the tour to learn some history and fun facts about the city. You will learn where to find the best gelato, bistecca alla Fiorentina, and truffles. Your guide will also show you lesser-known spots, often unseen by tourists.

Florence: Eco-Friendly Golf Cart City Tour

6. Florence: Eco-Friendly Golf Cart City Tour

Cruise by iconic sights in Florence on an eco-friendly electric golf cart tour. Roll past sights like Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Pitti, and Brunelleschi's Dome. Listen to an audio guide as you go. Choose from 1-hour tour or a 1.5-hour tour that goes to Piazzale Michelangelo. Hop on an electronic golf cart head to Ponte Vecchio and cross the Ponte Santa Trinita Renaissance bridge over 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. Marvel at the architectural style of the Basilica of Santa Croce, the National Library and the back of the Cathedral with the famous Brunelleschi Dome. 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 façade.  Arrive at the Ognissanti district, gaze at the old city walls, and hear interesting facts and stories about Florentine traditions.

Florence: Eco-Friendly Panoramic Tour in Electric Golf Cart

7. Florence: Eco-Friendly Panoramic Tour in Electric Golf Cart

Enjoy an eco-friendly ride through the ancient streets and iconic squares of Florence on an electric golf cart. Experience the "Birthplace of the Renaissance" with all its famous landmarks and learn the history behind each corner with your audio guide. Strap in to your cart, select your language, and embark on an unforgettable sightseeing tour along the historic streets of Florence. Visit emblematic landmarks like the Duomo Square, home of the 4th biggest cathedral in the world: the Santa Maria del Fiore. Then, ride straight into the heart of Florence and arrive at Republic Square, the very spot where the city was born in 89 BC. Continue to Signoria Square and view the famous statues such as the powerful Perseus by B. Cellini and the copy of David by B. Michelangelo. Discover the Great Pantheon of Florence and glide past the Basilica di Santa Croce where many great Italians were laid to rest, including Michelangelo, Galileo, and Macchiavelli among others. Ride along the Arno river and ascend the surrounding hills to reach Michelangelo Square. Be rewarded with the most breathtaking views of Florence.

Florence: City Highlights Guided Walking Tour

8. Florence: City Highlights Guided Walking Tour

Explore the most popular attractions in Florence on this guided walking tour. Learn about the rich history and culture behind famous works like the Florence Cathedral and its famous dome and take in the city's charm as you stroll the picturesque streets. Begin at Florence's most notable bridge, Ponte Vecchio. Hear the story behind this ancient bridge from your expert guide and find out why it's truly one-of-a-kind. Discover the architectural details behind Brunelleschi’s Dome of Florence Cathedral, and see for yourself why this original edifice is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue on to other key monuments such as the Church of Orsanmichele, Santa Croce, and Palazzo Vecchio in Piazza Della Signoria, as your guide explains to you the history behind each landmark.

Florence: 2.5-Hour Guided Bike Tour

9. 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.

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. Enjoy a spritz or Prosecco with your guide to cap off a day of discovery. Spend the afternoon roaming along Venice’s canals at your leisure and then return to the hotel and overnight. 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.

Other Sightseeing Options in Basilica of Santa Croce

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What people are saying about Basilica of Santa Croce

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 2,151 reviews

Jacob (our English translation of his name) was our tour guide and he could not have been better! He was so patient with us as we tried to get used to riding e-bikes and was willing to alter the tour route for us as we were not very comfortable riding the bikes on the steep hills. We would do any tours with him as not only was he very kind and accommodating, he was extremely knowledgeable and taught us a lot about the Florence and Oltarno areas. Gabrielle at the bike shop was also wonderful taking his time to let us try several bikes til we found the most comfortable. Highly recommend this tour!

Absolutely wonderful. Best Tour Ever. Eva is absolutely dedicated and extremely knowledgeable. She was caring, thoughtful and aware of the right pace and the family needs. I strongly recommend a this tour. Eva is the definition of a perfect guide.

great guide gave us an essentials of the evolution of painting by the masters up to the Renaissance

Great guide Aldo, funny without trying, gave us a great tour of the city. Really enjoyed it.

Great way to see the city (especially on a hot day).