The Piazza Santa Croce is one of the largest squares in Florence. Important events often take place here. One of the most famous of these is the annual “Calcio Storico“, a kind of violent football match. Dante watches it from his pedestal. The most famous building is the Santa Croce Basilica.
Piazza Santa Croce Florence
History and description
Piazza Santa Croce is located just outside the second municipal circle. It was constructed in the Middle Ages and has a rectangular shape. The buildings flanking the square are still the original ones.
Since the 14th century the Piazza Santa Croce has been used for tournaments and other games. Especially during the Renaissance events often took place here.
In the 18th century, the wooden fences bordering the playground were removed by order of Leopold of Lorraine. They were replaced by pillars and stone benches.
Highlights Piazza Santa Croce Florence
Santa Croce Basilica
The most striking building on the square is the Santa Croce Basilica. This place of worship is not only packed with interesting works of art but also houses the remains of none other than Michelangelo. Construction began in 1294 but was only completed in 1443.
Piazza Santa Croce Fountain
The first fountain in the Piazza Santa Croce was placed there in 1673 and was made by Pietro Maria Bardi. This baroque fountain was adapted in the 19th century. It consists of an octagonal marble base, with steps on two sides and lion heads surmounting shells on two other sides. The central part of the fountain is a big round basin, crowned by an iris and the crown of the Grand Duke.
The Palazzo dell’Antella is characterised by a frescoed facade.
The Palazzo Cocchi-Serristori was built at the end of the 15th century.
Events Piazza Santa Croce
Of all the events that take place on the square every year, the Calcio Storico (or Calcio in Costume) is the most famous. The word calcio (Italian for “soccer”) is rather misleading in this respect, as it has little in common with today’s football. It was first held at the beginning of the 15th century. After being abolished in 1739, it became an annual Florentine spectacle in 1930.