Piazza Santa Croce
Piazza Santa Croce is one of the oldest and most distinguished squares of Florence. It retains many of its historic buildings including the Church of Santa Croce. This church dominates Piazza Santa Croce. When standing in the piazza, just sit back and admire the beautiful façade of the Church of Santa Croce. This basilica is the burial place of Michelangelo, Galileo, Rossini and other prominent Italians. If you are in the area, make sure you go inside the church.
You can find the incredible statue of Dante here too. The most famous Italian poet and writer, Dante Alighieri was born in Florence.
During the day Piazza Santa Croce is filled with tourists and locals admiring the basilica and enjoying the bustle of the square. There are kids playing soccer and locals walking their dogs. Also, there is no car traffic close by which makes the area that much more quiet and enjoyable. During the evening it becomes a meeting place for everybody and a center for nightlife. The restaurants and bars are full with happy patrons. People are sitting on benches and on the steps of the basilica eating gelato.
Every year Piazza Santa Croce hosts Calcio Storico (also known as Calcio Fiorentino) in the third week of June. Calcio Storico is a traditional Italian ball game played in costume. They place stands around the playing field. Fill the field with sand on which the match takes place. They score by throwing the ball into a net. However the game is very physical, they pretty much allow everything. They can kick, tackle, head butt and punch the opposing team. It dates back to the 15th century. Over time many people have played this unique game, even Popes Clement VII, Leo XI and Urban VIII participated in this Italian ball game. I found this game to be so exciting and entertaining.
Piazza Santa Croce is a lovely place with lots of shops around mostly selling souvenirs and leather goods, for which Florence is famous.
I found Piazza Santa Croce to be a large square with a lot of open space. However it isn’t surrounded with the same amount of allure and entertaining things to see like the two famous squares in Florence, Piazza della Signoria and Piazza del Duomo. I would also recommend visiting Church of Santa Croce so you can spend a bit of time in the square.