Piazza Santa Croce
History and museums
Piazza Santa Croce is one of the main plazas or squares located in the central neighborhood of Florence, region of Tuscany, Italy. It is located near piazza della Signoria and the National Central Library, and takes its name from the Basilica of Santa Croce that overlooks the square.
The most notable features of the basilica are its sixteen chapels, many of them decorated with frescoes by Giotto and his pupils, and its tombs and cenotaphs.
It is the burial place of many illustrious Italians, such as Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Enrico Fermi, Galileo, Ugo Foscolo, Guglielmo Marconi, Luigi Cherubini, Leon Battista Alberti, Vittorio Alfieri, Gioacchino Rossini, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Lorenzo Bartolini, Pier Antonio Micheli, Bartolomeo Cristofori, Giovanni Gentile, thus it is known also as the Temple of the Italian Glories (Tempio dell'Itale Glorie).
On the opposite side to the Basilica of Santa Croce is the Palazzo Cocchi-Serristori, rebuilt in the late 15th century by Giuliano da Sangallo, personal architect of Lorenzo de' Medici. In the front of the Palazzo, there is a fountain from the 19th century.
On the southern side of the square is the Palazzo dell'Antella, a long palace with facade decorated in the early 17th century under the direction of Giovanni da San Giovanni.
In front of the Basilica is a marble statue depicting Dante sculpted by Enrico Pazzi, named Monument to Dante.
Every year in June, a field of sand is prepared for the annual Calcio Fiorentino (historic football) games. The game is fairly violent; boxing and wrestling is allowed and minor injuries are frequent.
In 2006 Roberto Benigni recited Dante's Divine Comedy beside the statue of Dante.