Morandi Alla Crocetta

Florence, Italy

A quiet, comfortable and distinguished atmosphere in the former convent of the Crocetta, it is today, following an ancient tradition of hospitality, a place where one can enjoy a pleasant and relaxed stay in Florence.  Located in the historical center of the city, next to the Archeological Museum and a few steps from the Academy of Fine Arts, it is within easy walking distance to every point of artistic, cultural and economic interest.

With individually controlled central air conditioning, every room has its fully equipped private facilities as well as television, radio, refrigerator - bar, direct dialing telephone and safe.

Historical Notes

Here in Via Laura two historic personages of the Renaissance have left their mark: Lorenzo de'Medici and Sister Domencia of Paradise.  Originally our street was a country road crossing into some vegetable gardens thus aptly called Via Verzura corrupted into Via Ventura.  When Lorenzo de'Medici decided to build a house for courtesans, the name was changed to Via Laurenziana, then abbreviated to Via Laura.

Sister Domencia was the daughter of a farmer from Pian di Ripoli, south of Florence, who worked some lands belonging to the convent of St. Brigida al Paradiso.  Having entered this same convent taking the name of Sister Domencia del Paradiso, she developed a reputation for sancity.  This didn't stop her from giving her nuns a useful and practical occupation.  She introduced the art of weaving gold and silver cloth with great economic success.

Even though she was a Domenican, she did not agree with Fra' Girolama Savonarola whom she never quoted in her writings.  This is why she earned the friendship of Savonarola's great antagonists, the Medici, who allowed her to buy a large piece of land to one side of Via Laura (where the present building stands) for a mere 190 Florins.  In 1511 she began building a new convent spending some 20,000 gold Florins.  It wasn't by chance that it was made easy for a Domenican convent faithful to the Medici to be built only one block away from Savonarola's S. Marco.

Later on, Pope Clement VII, Lorenzo's nephew (his father, Giuliano de'Medici, was killed in the famous Pazzi conspiracy) was very generous to Sister Domenica of Paradise.   She kept her old name in honor of her former convent though the new one was called the convent of the Crocetta after the small red cross that nuns wore sewn on their habit. Even the street was called Via della Crocetta for a long period of time.

Along this same street, in 1502 canon Narco Strozzi founded another convent for six devout ladies:  S. Maria degli Angeli, afterwards called of the Angiolini, near the Palazzo of the Crocetta that later become the Archeological Museum.

On our side of the street, where the Hotel Morandi alla Crocetta now stands, the convent of the Crocetta had its gardens and cloisters.  On this site, Sister Domenica of Paradise had a vision of Jesus commemorated by a XVI century tabernacle built to the rear, on Via Giusti.  In the hotel Morandi alla Crocetta, one can admire XVII century frescoes depicting scenes of the life of blessed Domenica of Paradise.

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