Price & Hours
- Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing Type
- 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
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Santa Croce is similar to the Duomo in style (both churches represent dominant Gothic traits), but most visitors aren't drawn here by Santa Croce's looks: Come here to pay your respects to such notable Italians as artist Michelangelo, scientist Galileo Galilei and political philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli. Santa Croce is also home to what some say is the most important art collection of any church in Italy, the most notable works being spectacular frescoes done by Giotto.
After you've sufficiently toured the church, head next door to the Museo dell'Opera di Santa Croce (Museum of Santa Croce), which houses several objects formerly found within the church itself. You can also spend a few hours shopping or sipping cappuccino in the neighboring Piazza Santa Croce, which is home to an impressive collection of leather shops. In fact, the Scuola del Cuoio (leather school) – which was started after World War II in part by the Franciscan friars of Santa Croce – is connected to the church. It's free to explore the school – and a good place to search for leather souveniors – but it costs 8 euros (about $9.60) to enter the church and museum. The church, museum and piazza sit just east of the city center. Both buildings are open to from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 2 to 5:30 p.m. on Sundays and holidays. You are also welcome to participate in religious services. For information on Mass times and more, visit the Santa Croce website.
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