Piazza Santa Croce
Open every day from 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m., Sundays and holidays it closes at 1.00 p.m. instead
Ticket Euros 4,00
This magnificent basilica in gothic style is very rich in art treasures and also it is famous for the tombs of many famous Italian men, like Galileo, Machiavelli, Ugo Foscolo and so on… The monument for Dante is just a cenotaph instead, because the great poet is buried away, in Ravenna.
Michelangelo is buried at the beginning of the right side aisle. The tomb was designed by Vasari and it represents the three mayor arts personified: painting, sculpture and architecture. They are all sad for the lack of the great artist. Michelangelo died in Rome, February 18th 1564, at the age of 89, after he could realize some of the most beautiful, beyond-compare works of human creativity, but without being able to realize his own sepulchre. In the last years he sculpted up to 3 pieta, more and more dramatic and desolate, never being satisfied of the result: we saw the one called “of Palestrina” in the Accademia, a second was inside the Opera del Duomo Museum, then, the last, the Pieta Rondanini is kept in Milan.
He was also an important poet of his time, even if his talent in writing is put somehow in shade by his figurative art skills. Pervaded with a deep sense of religion, he often dealt with the theme of death in his verses. This is an example of a sonnet:
“My big desire sometimes agrees
to my many years, many more years
but it can’t stop the death to approach
and not to hurry where less pain is.
Why do you await a better life to rejoice,
If only in poverty can God be adored?
A joyful luck and a long life,
The more delights, the more they hurt.
And if, your grace, at heart at times
that passionate zeal assails, my Dear,
comforting and encouraging the soul,
as my own value as nought I worth,
then right away I’d come to skies:
no good will lasts in longer times.(free translation, Le Rime, n° 296)