The Temple of Italian
Basilica of Santa Croce5
Why locals love it
The Basilica of Santa Croce is the largest Franciscan church in the world and Florentines will forever have bragging rights about it being the "Temple of Italian Glories." It earned this title because the list of people buried there reads like a "Who's Who" of Western history: Michelangelo, Galileo, and Macchiavelli, just to name a few.
Why you should visit it
If you're keeping the monuments and museums to a minimum on your trip, Santa Croce must be on the shortlist. Inside you'll find works by Donatello, frescoed chapels painted by masters like Giotto, tombs of towering historic figures, and more. Watch artisans at work in the famous leather school, located in the friars' former sleeping quarters.
In the cloister, don't miss the Pazzi Chapel, one of the foremost examples of Renaissance architecture, designed partially by Filippo Brunelleschi.