Piazza Santa Croce took shape towards the end of the thirteenth century, when the Franciscan church was totally rebuilt (1295) on Arnolfo di Cambio's design, and was incorporated inside the new city walls. The late twelfth-century church was of commanding dimensions, in proportion to the growing power of the Friars Minor, and the square too was consequently enlarged. This area was used for preaching and, from the fifteenth century on, also became a stage for mounted jousting and festivals. Between the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries the appearance of the palazzi overlooking it also began to be defined. Finally the creation in 1863 of the NeoGothic façade of the church endowed the square with that aspect of timelessness which has been highly appreciated by "metaphysical" artists such as Giorgio de Chirico.
In June, the square completely changes and turns into a real football ground - covered with sand and surrounded by stands - welcoming every year the traditional matches of the Calcio Storico Fiorentino. After two semifinals, on June 24th, the Patron Saint Day, finalists play the final match in front of a large number of spectators, including locals and tourists, curious to learn more about this traditional sport.
Piazza di Santa Croce
Piazza di Santa Croce, Firenze