We soon walked onto the Piazza di Santa Croce, where the Neo-Gothic Basilica bearing the same name stands. Before we actually stood in front of its outstandingly beautiful façade our attention was drawn to the imposing statue of Dante sculpted by Enrico Pazzi dating back to 1856-65 and surrounded by sculpted lions, symbols of the Medici as well as a Roman eagle.
The Basilica of Santa Croce, which we hoped to be able to visit some other day, besides being the principal Franciscan church in Florence is also considered the richest in terms of works of Art, this being the main reason as to why we wanted to visit it.
Just across the Basilica stood the Medieval origin Palazzo dell' Antella, whose frescoed façade dating from 1629 really impressed me. Painted by a team of skilled painters its decorations consist of a series of panels with allegorical representations, Deities, Virtues and vegetable and arabesque motifs. The bust of CosimoI could be seen in the centre part.
We took a side street leading to the Biblioteca Munizipale founded in 1714, which also had quite an impressive façade with a series of medallions dedicated to famous personages.
View of the Arno river (left) and the Façade of the Biblioteca Nazionalle (right) from Piazza dei Cavalleggeri.
(To be continued)