“When I walk up the piazza of Santa Croce I feel as if it were not a Florentine nor an European church but a church built by and for the human race.
I feel equally at home within its walls as the Grand Duke, so hospitably sound to me the names of its mighty dead.
Buonarroti and Galileo lived for us all.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1835
The Church of Santa Croce in Florence is an encyclopedia of Italian art from the 13th to 19th century. It is known as the Pantheon of Italian Greats due to its being the memorial or burial place of artists, scientists and thinkers such as Machiavelli, Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei and Rossini.
An important landmark of Florence since its construction at the dawn of the Renaissance, Santa Croce is a property of the Italian State. Its heritage belongs to all of humanity.
Opera di Santa Croce is the non-profit organization in charge of the church and monumental complex of Santa Croce from the 14th century. Its mission is preserve and promote the cultural, spiritual and artistic heritage, that stemmed from the Franciscan roots, but flourished with the history of Florence into our modern times.
After more than six centuries, this is the first time Opera di Santa Croce has created an exhibition outside Italy.
The tomb of Giovan Battista Niccolini, poet and playwright of the Risorgimento era, is probably the most recognizable monument to visitors of Santa Croce because it so convincingly recalls a true American symbol, the Statue of Liberty.