Saturday, October 17, 2009


On our recent visit to Florence we were trying to visit some places we'd never been to, or places we hadn't been to in a long time. Florence Santa Croce_045 Santa Croce falls into the second category, and just recently someone told us that the church had been completely renovated and we should be sure to visit it the next time we were in Florence. I wish I could remember who told us this, because either they have Santa Croce confused with some other church, or maybe they thought it would be years before we re-visited Florence. Can you guess where this is going?

Santa Croce Florence 080Things have changed since we were last at Santa Croce - now you have to pay an admission charge, and you enter thru a side door rather than the main door. LIttle did we know what else had changed.....
As we walked into the church I was expecting an "OH WOW!" moment, but what I got was an "oh dear..." moment. Scaffolding was EVERWHERE! the main altar was hidden somewhere under a wall of scaffolding, Florence Santa Croce_060
and a closer look revealed people on platforms within the scaffolding doing their restoration work.  Who knows how many years this restoration might take, but at least the work is being done!  Just in case you're wondering, yes, photos are allowed inside the church.

Of course there were still many beautiful things to see in the church, including Michelangelo's tomb, several side altars and assorted chapels, as well as the outdoor space and the museum. 

Our long-overdue visit to the Medici Chapel was also quite a let-down.  I hesitate to say that it was a disappointment, because we did get to see part of it's splendor, but the overall effect was certainly dulled by all the scaffolding within the chapel itself.  We had been warned about the restoration by a large sign outside the entry, but it really hadn't prepared us for the extent of the restoration works, or how that first step into the chapel would be such a let-down, especially when you could just glimpse the spendors hidden behind the scaffolding. 

No pictures were allowed inside the Medici Chapel, so you'll have to take your chances when or if you go to Florence, or perhaps there are some websites that might show everything as it was meant to be. 

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At 10/17/2009 08:25:00 PM , Blogger cmvbbay said...

When we visited Florence in January, we exited from the side of the church, as disappointed as you were by the seemingly ever present scaffolding, to find the Fiera del Cioccolato Artigianale was in progress in the square. I thought it was a permanent fixture but it was only there for 4 days. We wandered through the displays with Ann Reavis on our way to lunch at Ristorante del Fagioli - and we later returned to make many purchases.

At 10/18/2009 04:19:00 AM , Blogger Barbara said...

Chocolate always eases the pain! Glad you had a good time in Florence - but how could anyone not?!

At 10/18/2009 09:38:00 AM , Blogger Bob and Rosemary said...

Seems like it was closed for renovation several years ago when we visited Florence on one of our vacations in Italy! We had to remind ourselves that it was good that they were restoring so many wonderful old buildings but seeing that scaffolding is never fun. Lucky you guys, you can go back when it's done!

At 10/18/2009 10:03:00 AM , Blogger Barbara said...

But Rosemary, they said the Medici Chapel will probably be under restoration for another 5 years, and who know how long for Santa Croce?! Remember that the Borghese Gallery in Rome was closed 17 years for renovation!!!


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