September 30, 2009

Discovery of my "Palazzo"

I mentioned in my last post that during the Corri La Vita run we stopped throughout the city to see private gardens. Much to my surprise, the garden outside my window was part of this event! This got my head spinning to learn where I was actually living...After all, all the buildings here are thousands of years old, so , what awaits me here in my humble abode.......

Here it goes : This palace was built in 1236 from the Alberti Family, most famous was Leon Battista Alberti, the founder of Humanism and very famous Renaissance architect, who lived here in the 1400's. One of his most famous pieces of work, is the front facade of the Santa Maria Novella church here in Florence . Generations of artisans lived here, and in 1760 Giovanni Vincenzo Alberti (his drawings are at the Louvre) connected all sides of the palace together, forming the structure it is currently. Fast forward to the 1800's when Luigi Malenchini bought the property from the Alberti family, major restorations to the property were also completed after the 1966 flood that ravaged much of Florence. The side that my apartment is situated is where the family commissioned a small church - Santa Maria delle Grazie (which is still present). I believe that my apartment was once part of the cloisters of this church, but I will not know for certain until I can enter the chapel and look at the interior structure. (This could take some time because the church is not generally open to the public!)

Absolutely fascinating, and who would of thought I was living in such a historic place! There is a little old lady that sits in the courtyard everyday and plays cards. I say "Buon Giorno" and "Ciao" and she only smiles in return. I would put money down that her last name is Alberti or Malenchini. What a treasure to be under the roof of the "Palazzo Malenchini Alberti" Bellisima!

Windows of my apartment from the exterior: (Click on photos to enlarge)

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