Casa Vasari | Horne Museum

Giorgio Vasari played a leading role in the monumental complex of Santa Croce. An astonishing and eclectic artist, architect and writer, he was an unquestioned protagonist in the develoment of the monumental complex.

Giorgio Vasari and Santa Croce

From 1566 to 1568 Giorgio Vasari was commissioned by Cosimo I de’ Medici to devise and implement a sweeping renovation campaign in the basilica in order to bring it into line with the directives of the Council of Trent. He demolished the rood screen dividing the basilica and preventing contact between the congregation and the high altar, and for that altar he designed the large canopy for the Eucharist, the focal point of the new religious setting designed to reaffirm Christ’s real presence in the consecrated host, a tenet questioned by the Protestant reformers. To put paid to any visual chaos that might prove to be at odds with the decorum and symmetry demanded by the Counter-Reformation, he also whitewashed the frescoes and eliminated the chapels along the walls of the side aisles, replacing them with fourteen new symmetrical altars.

For Santa Croce Vasari also designed the tomb of Michelangelo and the Buonarroti altar, as well as painting the Last Supper (now on display in the Refectory) which is today one of the symbols of rebirth following the flood of Florence in 1966.

Giorgio Vasari's bust. Vasari's House in Florence

Giorgio Vasari's bust. Casa Vasari in Florence

Casa Vasari

While working in the basilica, the artist lived in the Santa Croce neighbourhood in a house that Cosimo I de’ Medici had given to him in recognition of his artistic merits in 1561. With the help of his workshop assistants, he decorated the walls of the Great Hall on the first floor c. 1572 with frescoes extolling the Arts and the primacy of Drawing. Since his death in 1574, this Great Hall is the only part of the house to have come down to us untouched by the many renovation projects that have affected the rest of the building.

Organise your visit

The Fondazione Horne offers holders of tickets to the monumental complex of Santa Croce a reduction on the full price of admission to the Horne Museum and Casa Vasari. The ticket to Santa Croce must bear a date in the current year and must be shown at the museum ticket office when purchasing admission. The discount cannot be added to any other discounts from which the holder may benefit.

Casa Vasari
Tours by prior appointment only. Please address your request to or phone +39 055 244661
Admission: €7.00 (instead of €10.00)

Horne Museum
The museum is open from 10.00 am to 2.00 pm daily including Sundays. Closed on Wednesdays and on public holidays. Admission: €5.00 (instead of €7.00)
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