The Santa Croce complex is due to reopen to visitors starting Wednesday 12 May, the day the whole world celebrates Florence Nightingale, the founder of the modern nursing profession who was born was born in Florence and is commemorated with a monument in Santa Croce's first cloister. Opera di Santa Croce is currently putting the finishing touches to a maintenance programme designed to enable us to welcome visitors in complete safety.
The complex will be open six days a week from 11.00 am to 5 pm (1.00 pm to 5 pm on Sundays – closed Tuesdays). At the weekends – 3.00 pm every Friday, Saturday and Sunday – Opera di Santa Croce will also be offering an innovative package of guided tours focusing on Dante and the Florence of his day.
The package consists of three themed tours, each one involving visitors in an evocative account of the poet and his times: "Giotto, painter in Santa Croce and entrepreneur in Florence", "The Power of Images: the message of Saint Francis" and "Wealth and Poverty, bankers and saints". Opera di Santa Croce is pleased to offer visitors who choose to sign up for these themed tours a discount on the cost of the guided tour, with couples paying the equivalent price of a single ticket.
Tickets, which will become available on a weekly basis starting 10 May, can be purchased either directly at Santa Croce itself or online. Booking ahead, however, is mandatory (though the booking fee has been waived for the time being) and reservations must be made on line for all weekend tours. A new feature introduced this month offers tour guides planning to book tours a link from the Santa Croce website taking them to a portal specially designed to cater for their needs.
You can choose to be guided by the official Santa Croce app, which you can download onto your mobile phone and which has a special section dedicated to Dante's recently restored cenotaph. The app uses terzine couplets from the Divine Comedy to immerse you into some of the sites in Florence most closely associated with Dante. And you can explore Dante's city in even greater depth by downloading a free app called "In Tuscany with Dante" produced in conjunction with Toscana Promozione Turistica in the context of the Tuscan Regional Authority's "Dante o Tosco" project. The app uses a 3D reproduction of the cenotaph as its gateway to the discovery of Florence and Tuscany in Dante's day.