Opera Throughout the centuries


We start talking about 'Opere'

In the fourteenth century we start talking about Opere and Fabbricerie, words relating to work and worksite.
In fact, they were laical institutions created to ensure the stability of religious buildings and to maintain the ecclesiastical patrimony of the church.

The laical Opera di Santa Croce


Opera di Santa Croce was charged by the Florentine Republic to supervise the building work.
Funding came from private donors, Florentine noble families, bequests.


The reformed Opera

Opera was reformed and it was decided that necessary requirements were needed to become members: only the ones who had the patronage of a chapel or the family’s burial place in Santa Croce were accepted.

The abolished Opera


A new legislation needed for administrative reform was approved and religious Institutions were abolished.


The rebuilt Opera

The Grand Duke of Tuscany Ferdinand III built up Opera again and put it under the control of three Government deputies: a superintendent (provveditore), an administrator (amministratore) and a treasurer (camarlingo).

Santa Croce property of Italian State


New suppression laws were introduced to make the religious groups disappear.
Santa Croce church became part of the Religious Buildings Foundation of the Italian Ministry of the Internal Affairs (Fec).


Santa Croce, Florence and the Opera

Some portions of the Monumental Complex were given to the township of Florence to be used as public space.
Opera was given back its functions.

Patti Lateranensi


An agreement known as Patti Lateranensi determined new rules in the relation between State and Catholic Church and Opere were confirmed as the organization in charge of the administration of the churches and their properties, without dealing with religious matters.


A new Statute

A new Opera’s statute was approved by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

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