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Hotel Mona Lisa, 4* Florence

 
Hotel Monna Lisa is located in the ancient center of Florence. This elegant Renaissance Palace is furnished with fine antique furniture. Old oil paintings and a number of art treasures, these includes the first model Giambologna's "Rapte of Sabines" and neoclassical drawings and statues by Giovanni Duprè (1817-82) the famous sculptor from whom the owner's family is descended. The hotel is an attractive, unusual establishment suitable for a guest who wish to have a pleasant stay in a delightful atmosphere.
 
History
 
The Palace was built, in part, before 1300 and it is said to have been a convent or a place of meditation and prayer.
The construction continued after that time and in 1439, while it was owned by the Ferrantini Family, during the Ecumenical Council “(the only one held in Florence), Joseph, the Patriarch of Costantinopoli, was quartered in this Palace...He was accompanied by twenty-three Metropolitan Bishops from Greece and a large number of theologians and other scholars. (You can see his portrait on the magnificient Benozzzo Gozzoli “masterpiece” The Procession of the Magi at the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, and visit his sepulchre in the Church of Santa Maria Novella.) In the early years of 1500, the building passed to the Neri Family and here in 1515 was born S. Filippo Neri also known as Pippo il Buono (St. Philip the Merry Man) (probably in room #19 or #21).

His portrait, together with those other four former owners of the Palace, is placed in front of the Bar-Desk.
After many changes of property during the centuries, the Palace was bought by the present owners, the Ciardì Duprè Family...Its personal collection of antiques and original oils decorates many of the salons and bedrooms. Unfortunately other original furnishings were lost in the 4th november 1966 flood (the water reached a height of two meters). 

In 1956 the building was, in part, transformed in Hotel, but these works were done gradually in order to avoid spoiling the original ancient atmosphere. The floors are original “cotto fiorentino” and are of the 1500’s, as are the wooden ceilings in the stitting-rooms and some of the bed-rooms which are of the same period. The big painting in the sitting room near the staircase represent the “Golden Rain” (that’s the sirfting of the wheat through sieves, wich is an old Sardinian method). It was painted by Gaetano Spinelli in 1929 and acquired by the Ciardi Duprè Family in the early 40s. Facing the “Golden Rain” there is the statuette “Rape of the Sabines” by Giambologna.

That is the rough-marble that won the competition for the awarding of making the sculpture, now placed in Piazza della Signoria in Florence, under the “Orcagna Lodge”. The ceiling of loggia of the Palace was painted by Bernardino Poccetti Barbatelli and has not been restored. This artist was born in Florence in 1542 and died in 1612. It is not documented, but it is almost certain that he lived in this house. His work here is widely documented as other important frescoes that are in S. Maria Novella, in San Marco and in S.S. Annunziata Cloisters, as well as the entrance vault of the “Spedale degli Innocenti” that was his last work (1612, the year of his death). The sculptures that we can see in the Hotel are all by the neo-classic sculptor Giovanni Duprè (Siena 1817 = Florence 1882). 

The Owners Family is related to this artist. His major works are: “The dying Abele”, 1842. (The original statue is in San Pietroburgo (Russia) and a bronze copy is in Florence at the Accademia d’Arte Moderna.). “Caino” 1843. “The Innocence” 1848, ordered by the Emperor Nicolas of Russia, wich is at the Saffo art Gallery in Rome.
Other important and successful works are the monument to the Duke of Wellington in london, the Pietà, funeral marble monument for the Siena Cemetery, a statue to Cavour in Torino, the “Giotto” at the Uffizzi, the “Triumph of the Holy Cross and the Virgin in Sorrow” wich is placed in the church of Santa Croce in Florence. Giovanni Duprè has also an important place in the Italian literature for his writing of educational value: “The autobiographic memoirs” and “Troughts of Art” with other minor writings. In the quiet and warm 17th century courtyard we can find the “Orcio” wich is of the 1500, as well as the glass doors from the Breakfast room to the Garden...  The bar desk is an ancient confessional of 1500. as is the desk near the staircase and some armchairs and chairs are of the 1400.

SERVICES:

American Bar – Garden – Gym Room – Solarium – Internet Point – Parking* - No-Smoking rooms – Rooms for handicapped guests – Safe – Multilanguage speaking staff – 24 hour concierge – Free daily newspaper – Laundry – Baby sitting * - Doctor * - Rental car with or without driver – Ticket reservations for rail, theatres, excursions and museums on request.
 

 

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