Santa Croce. Florence (Italy)

World-known monumental complex attracting yearly 700,000 visitors which includes the Basilica, the convent areas, the museum, the Pazzi chapel and the cloisters. Its surface is about 15,000 m2, of which more than 11,000 m2 are roofed.

It includes masterpieces by Giotto, Donatello, Gaddi, Vasari, Brunelleschi.

The church is property of the Fondo Edifici di Culto of the Italian Ministry of the Interior and of the Municipality of Florence, and is managed by Opera di Santa Croce, a non-profit organization.

Pietra serena is a gray sandstone used extensively in Renaissance Florence, quarried extensively in central Italy (especially in Fiesole as the one used in Santa Croce, Arezzo, Cortona and Volterra) and used also in the nearby Brunelleschi’s Pazzi Chapel.

Its weak point is the limited resistance to atmospheric agents and in particular to water and temperature changes: in the worst cases it becomes necessary to replace it after a few decades of exposure. The degradation causes the formation and fall of crusts parallel to the exposed surface (exfoliation), pulverization, detachment, cracks, etc.