The current imposing building of the Pia Casa of Montedomini stands near Arno's shore, on a piece of land that was granted in 1476 to Santa Maria Nuova's hospital for the construction of a lazaretto, dedicated to S. Sebastiano, and later suppressed during 1529's siege.
The building destined to be a hospital was used as a double monastery for Franciscan nuns. The two communities built two contiguous monasteries, facing via de' Malcontenti, and those buildings remained separated until 1808, when, during the Napoleonic suppressions, the Beggars' Depot was located.
Architect Giuseppe Del Ross rearranged the who monastic buildings designing a single architectonic body. Monticelli's church was deconsecrated, its space was divided in two floors and arranged as a dormitory, while Santa Maria Assunta di Montedomini's church was kept functional. It became a parish in 1816 and, in honour to Archduke Ferdinando III it was co-dedicated to San Ferdinando Re.
The hospice was subsequently used to host poor children and old men, and it took the name of Pia Casa di Lavoro. In 1866 it got the tile of Charity House, keeping the name of Montedomini, a legacy of the ancient nun monastery. The church's floor plans is similar to the typical female monasteris of the XVIth century, where the chorus is reserved to the nuns and is defined by a colonnade featuring Tuscany capitals.
On the bottom wall, you can see two smaller choruses, an idea that became widely popular in Florence's architecture of the late XVIth century and the early XVIth century. The apsidal chapel hosts a great wooden Crucifix and a copy of the Madonna of the Harpies, by Andrea del Sarto.
Main art works:
The upper floor hosts a series of frescoes by Vincenzo Meucci, dated 1745, depicting Santa Chiara and San Francesco receiving their stigmata, framed by an architectonic perspective by Joseph Chamant and some stuccos. The church's vault depicts the Virgin holding his Child out to S. Francesco, by Agostino Veracini.
The left side altar includes a copy of Sant'Ivo, by Jacopo da Empoli, whose original is currently located in Pitti, and a lunette depicting the Eternal Father. The same wall hosts the Death of S. Romualdo's painting, by Giuseppe Grifoni, coming from S. Maria degli Angeli.
The altar on the left wall includes the Adoration of the Mages, by Francesco Conti. An artist of middle XVIIth century is the possible author of the Last Dinner in the former refectory, while Galileo Chini is the author of Garibaldine memories, dated 1925.
Where: Via de'Malcontenti 6 - Firenze
Opening hours: 8:00-20:00