It was strange to see the ornate marble front contrasted with the plain stone covering the rest of the church behind:
Inside the main church, you see this view looking toward the main altar:
The main church holds six individual chapels, all covered in frescoes. Two of the most significant were painted by Giotto in the early 1300s, depicting the life of St. Francis of Assisi and St. John. Incredibly, someone whitewashed over these, and they were not rediscovered until the 1800s.
It gets to be overwhelming, the way every imaginable surface is covered in art. Even where there weren't actual paintings, many walls had patterns of colored marble:
The floor is covered in tombstones; you pretty much can't walk anywhere without stepping on one:
|photo credit: flickr.com/averain|
After we left Santa Croce, it was time for our daily gelato stop, this time at Vivoli (I can highly recommend gianduia).
Giotto documented the life of St Francis (of nearby Assisi)and St John with emotional art that retold the stories of these significant saints. Remarkably, the works were whitewashed over and only rediscovered in the 19th century. Poor restoration attempts have lost much of the original lustre but they are still masterpieces to savour and enjoy. - See more at: http://travel-wonders.com/2014/02/25/santa-croce-basilica-florence-italy/#sthash.1oQzPfmE.dpu