Santa Croce is the eastern edge of the historical center along the Arno river and takes the name from the Florence’s pantheon and one of its most remarkable churches. This neighborhood provide a rare glimpse of workaday Florence – an area few tourist penetrate, with lively markets and tiny workshops .
In addition to the great Santa Croce church and its museum, the other main cultural attractions in this part of the city are the Bargello Palace, which house one of Italy’s most important museum , the Museo Horne, a pleasing collection of art treasures and the Casa Buonarroti, the former home of Michelangelo.
Piazza dei Ciompi is the venue of Mercato delle Pulci, the flea market where you can buy interesting items at modest cost. A short distance to the east, is the Mercato St. Ambrogio, the city centre’s main food market after San Lorenzo. Be aware that the stallholders bring their prices down in the last hour of trading!
You will also find the largest selection of shops, bars and restaurants here. These include the city’s three finest and most expensive restaurants – Cibreo, Pinchiorri and Alle Murate, but also a variety of good mid-price options. By night, this is the liveliest part of town and, with most of its streets pedestrianised and many of the buildings illuminated, the perfect venue for an after-dinner stroll.