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Santa Croce

The origins of the church are to be found in a small oratory was built in this place by a community of monks in 1228. In 1294 Arnolfo di Cambio put his hand to the edification of the current basilica, in monumental forms but simple that are caratterifù consecrated in 1443 in the presence of Pope Eugene IV In 1566 Giorgio Vasari was commissioned by Cosimo I to perform some of the altars in the side naves; the intervention led to the destruction of the ancient choir and numerous frescoes. The facade of the church was carried out only in the middle of the last century on a project by Niccolò Matas, in neo-Gothic style as the bell tower, Gaetano Baccani (1847). The large number of works of art gives the Church an extraordinary significance, increased by the many tombs of illustrious men (the "urns of strong" sung by Ugo Foscolo in graves). The interior has three naves, with acute arches supported by octagonal pillars in stone. In the floor are inlaid well 276 headstones (the oldest are the fourteenth century). In the central nave, the third pilaRossellino (1478); in front, the funeral monument of Michelangelo, work of Vasari and (1570); the sculptures allegorizzano Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Follow: the cenotaph of Dante Alighieri (buried in Ravenna) by Stefano Ricci (1829); the tomb of Vittorio Alfieri, executed by Canova in 1810; the tomb of Niccolò MachiaSpinazzi (1787); the splendid Annunciation of DonatelRossellino (c. 1444); the tombs of Gioacchino Rossini and Ugo Foscolo. In the right transept opens (right) the Chapel Castellani, frescoed around 1385 by Agnolo Gaddi with stories of the SS. Nicola di Bari, John the Baptist and John the Evangelist and Antonio Abate. From the head of the transept it accesses the Chapel Baroncelli, frescoed with stories of the Virgin by Taddeo Gaddi (1332-38); on the altar a polyptych with the coronation of Mary, the workshop of Giotto. From the corner of the transept there enters the beautiful fourteenth century Sacristy: on the right wall, three episodes from the passion, Taddeo Gaddi and others; in bottom wall opens the chapel Rinuccini, with frescoes by Giovanni da Milano. Returned to the church is the series of the chapels of the bottom: in the Peruzzi Chapel (fourth from the right), splendid frescoes by Giotto with stories of the Baptist and S. John the Evangelist in the Bardi Chapel (fifth), still of Giotto are the stories of S. Francis, cycle placeable among the masterpieces of the maestro (c. 1325); in the Cappella Maggiore, frescoes by Agnolo Gaddi and a polyptych of Niccolò Gerini (late 14th century). Among the chapels of the bottom of the left side, the Cappella Bardi di Vernio with beautiful stories of S. Silvestro di Maso di Banco (c. 1340). The Bardi Chapel (head of the transept) preserves a Crucifix by Donatello (c. 1425). To the left the chapel Salviati with the nineteenth-century tomb of Sofia Zamoyski, Lorenzo Bartolini. In the left nave proseMarsuppini, Desiderio da Settignano (c. 1453) and the Tomb of Galileo Galilei (XVIII century).