This ancient nunsâ convent is actually structured in such a way that it looks like a private residence. The Del Garbo monastery, an asylum for single women like many others in the town, overlooks a square with several stratifications and important architectonic structures. From the windows that look out over Piazza della Signoria the palazzo âdellâArte dei Mercantiâ can be admired, next to the old palazzo belonging to the old famiglia Gondi, many members of which became archbishops of Paris. On the right there is âpalazzo Uguccioniâ with its beautiful faĂ§ade of the Raphael school (sixteenth century) and opposite stands the equestrian statue of Cosimo I, Duke of Florence, which symbolically commemorates his rise to power and rule of the state in 1537. The Palazzo della Signoria, also called âPalazzo Vecchi0â, with the soaring elegance of the splendid Arnolfo tower represents the trait-dâunion between old and new, or rather the republican past with that of the principality inaugurated with Cosimo I. The Loggia dei Lanzi houses the statues by Cellini and Giambologna (Perseus and the Rape of the Sabine Women) and defines the view of the square towards the flight of porticos and buildings of the so-called âUffiziâ created by Giorgio Vasari to house the government magistracies and offices.
Thus, right in front of the del Garbo residence opens up a concentrated blend of symbols closely tied in with political change in Florence. In the midst of a timeless peaceful setting combined with the modern-day elegance of the ex-convent it is possible to breathe a little of the great history of Florence and see what goes on every day in the square among the passers-by, among the restaurant tables, around the museums and Palazzo Vecchio itself, house to the offices of the town council, in a scenario which now embraces a multi-ethnic society. The Casa del Garbo and the town of Florence openly welcome and accompany their guests on this voyage of discovery of culture and daily life.