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.
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.