Santa Croce, Florence, Italy

a busy Street on the way to Santa Croce, Florence, Italy

Santa Croce church and piazza appearing out of the travel purgatory of Borgo dei Greci street, just 2 minutes walk from Piazza Signoria.

Santa Croce district

Piazza Santa Croce and Basilica, Florence, Italy

Piazza Santa Croce is Firenze’s favourite big-time party place. Photo by Zolli.

This piazza is where Florentines have been posing, punching and partying for hundreds of years, be it jousting tournaments, horse races or victory celebrations. As well as the sort of football games that David Beckham never considered. . .

Calcio Storico Fiorentino, a brutal historic football match, Florence, Italy

Calcio Storico Fiorentino. Azzurri vs Rossi battling it out in a sand covered Piazza Santa Croce. Photo by Lorenzo Noccioli.

The world famous and brutal Calcio Fiorentino (aka Calcio Storico) football matches still take place here every year in June. Each teams fields 27 players in traditional costume and both hands and feet are permitted, as is head-butting, punching and choking.

Santa Croce basilica interior, Michelangelo tomb, Florence, Italy

Michelangelo’s tomb (aka Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, died 1564) in the Basilica di Santa Croce, Florence. Photo by Giovanni Dall’Orto.

The Basilica of Santa Croce’s claim to fame is the number of celebrated figures either buried or memorialised there, including Dante, Galileo, Niccolo Machiavelli, Rossini and Marconi. This is the largest Franciscan church in the world, containing sixteen chapels, many decorated with frescoes by Giotto.