August 20, 2010, Newsletter Issue #44: Sam Marco

Tip of the Week

San Marco is one of the most popular Florence attractions. The museum was once a 15th century convent and has been turned into a museum showcasing the life and work of some of the famous monks who lived in the convent. San Marco was a Dominican convent and was the home of Girolamo Savonarola from 1491 until 1498 when he was burned at the stake and was also the home of Fra’Angelico who left behind much of his life’s work in the building. Each of the museum’s rooms has been transformed into showcases for artwork. The old Pilgrim’s Hospice has been transformed into a Fra’(Beato) Angelico Gallery showcasing altarpieces and painted panels. The Great Refractory houses 16th and 17th century paintings, and the Sala del Cenacolo contains a long fresco of Domenico Ghirlandaio’s Last Supper.

One of the most amazing sites in san Marco is the dormitories where the monks once lived. Each of the Dormitory cells were painted by Fra’ Angelo with works designed to help his fellow monks with their meditations. The paintings in the cells are considered Fra’Angelos’s most famous cycle of frescos.

The library of the museum is also a magnificent sight. The library was designed by Michelozzo in 1441 and currently contains a set of illuminated choir books.

Admission into San Marco is four Euros for adults and two Euros for children.

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