Love is in the air at Santa Croce

Crowdfunding campaigns have a romantic twist

Mary Gray
November 11, 2018 - 11:13

Money can't buy love, at least according to the Beatles, but perhaps Santa Croce fundraising campaigns can help.

Opera di Santa Croce, the lay association that oversees the Basilica of Santa Croce complex, is in the final days of a fundraising campaign, In the Name of Michelangelo, which has so far raised 100,000 euro to fund an overdue restoration of the Renaissance master's tomb and the Buonarroti family altarpiece. As OSC enters the final stretch of the campaign, with the aim of publishing a book on the discoveries made during the restoration, two contemporary love stories connected to past and current Santa Croce fundraising efforts have come to light

Courtesy of Jan Vosmik

Jan and Veronica Vosmik of Prague, Czech Republic are among the 125 donors from 13 countries who have contributed to the Michelangelo campaign. While planning a trip to Florence and searching for a place to propose marriage to Veronica, Jan came across Santa Croce's fundraising effort. He was immediately intrigued by the idea of strengthening their commitment to each other in such a storied venue: "Having a symbolic connection with Santa Croce and this special moment 'forever' is amazing for me, and hopefully for her, too", Jan wrote to OSC earlier this spring, enlisting the association's help in orchestrating the proposal. Once the question was popped (in April 2018, in the Cappella dei Niccolini), the pair left their mark on the Basilica itself, contributing to the Michelangelo campaign as a sign of their love for Florence and each other. They wed on September 1, 2018 in Lidmanka, Vysočina, Czech Republic.

Veronica and Jan Vosmik


Michelangelo isn't the only Santa Croce name to have sent hearts aflutter. OSC's historic Crazy for Pazzi campaign to restore the loggia of the Brunelleschi-attributed Pazzi Chapel drew in 102,426 US dollars from 859 donors, whose contributions were often accompanied by love letter-like messages to Florence ("This city will always be my second home, and its art and architecture my first love") or to donors' loved ones (numerous gifts were made in memoriam or commemorated anniversaries, birthdays and special events.)


Kieffer and Ashley Pyle

Donor Matthew Pyle was present at the September 18, 2015 inauguration of the restored loggia, when his younger brother Kieffer proposed to his now-wife Ashley by Galileo's tomb in Santa Croce. Kieffer and Ashley tied the knot on October 15, 2016 in Springfield, Missouri, United States.

The Pyles on their wedding day

Want to help write the world's ongoing love story with Santa Croce? Make your own gesture of love to Florence by contributing to the final stretch of the In the Name of Michelangelo campaign, which closes November 15, 2018.


more articles