Visiting Florence | Piazza Santa Croce

Is there a city in Italy that isn’t full of city gems? Florence is no different as it scored big on that lottery and is filled with so much history. Said to be one of Europe’s great art cities and it not just a city with beautiful art but beautiful architecture at almost every turn.  The city that has given birth to many luxury good companies, Salvatore Ferragamo to name a few of my favorite Italian brands was founded in Florence and is still headquartered here. Having searched high and low for where to stay in the shadows of Santa Maria del Fiore’s Dome, with no luck we finally found something right by Piazza Santa Croce. Thinking that we were miles from everything, we couldn’t have been more wrong.Piazza Santa Croce is a little gem you need to add to your visit when you Florence. Our apartment in a street right next to Santa Croce church. Two streets over we had the Arno River and close by Ponte Vecchio and right across the river from us is Piazza Michaelangelo offering amazing views of the city vista. Needless to say, we had struck gold! Busy enough with Italian cafes, restaurants, shops, and galleries but quiet enough to enjoy surrounding without hordes of tourists clogging up the area too much. Santa Croce as well as offering a stunning focal point with its beautiful facade is also a place many Italian greats have been buried.  Known as Temple of Italian Glorie, Santa Croce is where Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Galileo and many illustrious Italians are buried. The church overlooks a piazza. This is also where another Italian sport was born; Calcio Fiorentino

Wearing Asos Dress / Swarovski Ring and Watch / Coat by Very / Linea Jumper / Belt Versace

 

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The birth of Italian football on Piazza Santa Croce and what to see and do in and around the piazza

Calcio Fiorentino is an early form of football that originated in 16th century Italy started right on Piazza of Santa Croce. Previously reserved for Aristocats, today you can watch Calcio played yearly in the 3rd week of June as Piazza Santa Croce is turned into a sandy square as the games begin.  A game played by resident teams of Florence’s quartiere (city districts).
There are plenty of events happening through out the year in the Piazza that you could be dining with a view in the nearby cafes and restaurants. The Piazza hosts small concerts, parades, and other entertainment. For a list of events happening through out the year check here. The church itself, other than housing tombs of Italian greats, it’s also beautifully decorated with paintings and Murals much like you would expect from Italian churches and cathedrals. Around the Piazza, you can score yourself a bargain in the stalls and shops selling Italian leather goods. We couldn’t resist and bought a leather clutch for me and belt for the boy. If buying Italian leather goods is not enough to satisfy that the insatiable buyer in you, then check out  La Scuola di Cuoio nearby where they do 3-hour workshops and take yours through materials used in creating leather products from the treatment of animal skin to the finished product. They also do 3 and 6-month course for those that want to study further into goods making in addition to guided tours around their workshops.Tickets to Santa Croce are 8 Euros and gives you access to the Basilica, chapel, and museum. Sculoa tours start from around 14 Euros.


Where to stay near Piazza Santa Croce

Your search on where to stay in Florence shouldn’t be limited to just the vicinity within the square mile of Maria del Fiore. Our apartment wasn’t too far from Maria del Fiore but within a couple of meters of Santa Croce, granted we didn’t have views of the river or the Dome during our stay but there are plenty of hotels offering the views as you break your fast. For those up for a little luxury in Florence then check out Relais Santa Croce by Baglioni Hotels, Hotel Lungarno with Ponte Vecchio view, then you have stunning places to stay like Helvetia & Bristol, Hotel Montebello Splendid(they also have apartments here), and The Golden Tower & Spa. For something in the mid-range budget check out B4 Astoria Firenze, Hotel De La Ville, Hotel Glance In Florence and Grand Hotel Minerva.
For more places to stay covering hotels, hostels and apartments, check out this list of places to stay in Florence

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4 Comments

  1. July 18, 2017 / 6:13 am

    I absolutely love these old cities, the atmosphere, the architecture. I hope you had an amazing time!

  2. July 18, 2017 / 7:07 pm

    What great tips. I can't wait to go back to Italy!

  3. July 18, 2017 / 9:23 pm

    These photos are beautiful! Thanks for sharing the tips 🙂

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