Certosa del Galluzzo
The Monastery


The Certosa raises on the summit of a hill to the south of Florence. In the past it was one of the most powerful monasteries in Europe and exhibited, until Napoleon's spoliation, 500 works of art. The building was erected by Niccolò Acciaioli, a powerful Florentine citizen who commissioned it in 1341 with the aim of creating both a religious centre and a structure to educate the young ones. The monastery faces Palazzo Acciaioli, a building with battlements where the youth of Florence was instructed in human sciences. In the past, the Certosa was famous for its lavish library.

One of the most important sites of the monastery is the church of S. Lorenzo, characterised by a typically Mannerist architecture and richly decorated with frescoes, paintings, a sumptuous marble altar of the 16th century and an ancient crypt with many tombs, mainly of the Acciaioli family. The church opens on to a large Renaissance cloister, decorated with a large well and by terracottas by Andrea and Giovanni della Robbia (15th and 16th centuries). The cells of the monks, some of which are open to the public, Downlook this cloister. Each cell consists in a bedroom and a room for praying, that are furnished with very essential furniture pieces, besides having a small secluded garden. This cloister gives access to the so-called “Chiostro dei Conversi”, a small structure formed by two superimposed loggias that lead into the refectory.

The large cloister originally preserved the five lunettes painted by Pontormo between 1522 and 1525, representing episodes from Christ's Passion.
The lunettes were removed because they were badly damaged and are now exhibited together with a rich art collection of works from the 14th to the 18th century in the picture gallery of the monastery.


The stairs to the monastery
The entry court with the small chapel for women
To the right the entry to the lower level distillery
Cloister dei Conversi
Monks burial ground in the large cloister
The large cloister
All around the large cloister
glazed terracotta reliefs by Giovanni della Robbia
All around the large cloister
glazed terracotta reliefs by Giovanni della Robbia
Colloquium cloister
Colloquium - Stained glass
with scenes from the life of St. Benedict
Colloquium - Stained glass
with scenes from the life of St. Benedict
Detached frescoes of Pontormo
The small museum

Way to Calvary


Each Certosan monk led a life of quiet contemplation and
solitary prayer. Speech was forbidden, except once a week, and
otherwise the monk lived in isolation in a sort of little house
of his own, set around the great cloister, with its own bedroom,
study, and garden.

The Church of San Lorenzo inside the monastery
These choir stalls, which go around three sides of the monks'
church in the Certosa del Galluzzo, date from 1570 - 1590.

Inside chapel of the crypt is the tomb of Angelo Acciajuolo,
Bishop of Ostia, 1550. He was to be the next pope,
came for a visit and died overnight.

Hidden Italy * Bettina Röhrig * Logebachstr. 5 * D-53639 Königswinter * Germany