This beautiful church was only a couple of minutes walk from our apartment. We walked past it every day at least four times. It was only a matter of time before I dragged my friend in to have a look with me. Santa Croce was the first church (the only, now I think about it) we went into which had a security check before we entered. There was a €6 entry fee* and a vending machine where you could buy kimonos for €0.50 for modesty purposes. That was the first time in years I’d seen that. Women and men both were encouraged to cover their shoulders and legs. I was deemed to be dressed appropriately, not a threat to security (haha! suckas!) and headed inside.
It was quite beautiful. I managed to take some photos. I wasn’t entirely sure if taking photos inside the church was allowed. I know I saw plenty of other people taking photos and guides who either couldn’t be bothered telling them off or who didn’t see them. We think that the policy was that of no flash photography**. I managed to develop paranoia, thinking that the guards were giving me the evil eye every time I approached something interesting with my camera. The high altar and surrounds was built up with scaffolding so I didn’t bother taking a photo of that, or the nave. I did go a bit mad taking photos of the wonderful tombs of some incredible people:
And when we’d finished looking at all the wonderful art inside the church we headed back outside into the gorgeous cloister courtyard where there was even more art and sculpture to look at.
A really beautiful church, rich with culture and history. I loved this place.
*I usually balk at churches which charge entry fees. But really, I should stop seeing them as places of worship (because for me, they’re not, not anymore) and more as museums that need upkeep. The big churches in Florence all had a separate entrance for those who wished to enter for prayer. That’s lovely but then there’s always going to be a part of the church roped off for them. Plus it means that those who want to enter for prayer then don’t get to wander around their own church (which they pay for in their donations to the church at weekly mass, mind) and appreciate all the art they have to offer.
**The whole “no photography” in churches thing annoys me. Why? What is the point? I get the whole flash photography thing and its effect on works of art (not sure I really believe it but anyway) but what’s the point in banning photography all together? Is it to give the security guards a sense of purpose.Or is it to sell postcards in the church souvenir shop? Oh, I could rant for hours……