Santa Croce has always been a symbol and prestigious venue for the greatest artists, theologians, clergymen, literary scholars, humanists and politicians and a point of reference for the powerful families that determined the identity of late Medieval and Renaissance Florence. Celebrated religious figures often found refuge in the church such as St. Bonaventure, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Bernardino of Siena, Saint Louis d’Anjou, bishop of Toulouse. It was also a place to accommodate popes such as Eugene IV, Sixtus IV, Leo X and Clement XIV.
With its impressive Gothic architecture, its beautiful frescoes, altarpieces, precious stained glass windows and numerous sculptures, this Basilica is one of the most important expressions of the history of Florence from the thirteenth century onwards. Inside, it contains works by Cimabue, Giotto, Maso di Banco, Giovanni da Milano, Brunelleschi, Michelozzo, Donatello, Domenico Veneziano, Della Robbia, Benedetto da Maiano, Giuliano da San Gallo, Bronzino, Vasari, Canova and others. The presence of works by Giotto and his whole school, provide a wonderfully complete view of the fourteenth century.