Palazzo Salviati is a historic building dating back to 1600, located in the Oltrarno district of Florence. This example of Tuscan mannerism houses numerous works of art, a monumental reception hall and a splendid Italian garden.

Palazzo Salviati, the building that houses the Waldensian Lodge of Florence, has a layout today that is the result of projects to incorporate the various buildings added in the second half of the 1600s by architect Gherardo Silvani, commissioned by Giovanni Andrea Del Rosso. At the beginning of the 19th century the property passed to the Salviati family and later to the Ricasoli, until it was purchased in 1861 by the Presbyterian Church of Ireland and later donated to the Waldensian Board. The palace housed the waldensian Faculty of Theology until 1922, and later became the seat of the Gould Institute and the Lodge.

The interior of the building has a very elaborate layout and overlooks two different streets: Via dei Serragli and Via Maffia. The façade of the building on Via dei Serragli is an austere composition, designed in accordance with the canons of what is known as Tuscan mannerism.

The dimensions and plan of the first floor conserve the original layout of the complex: from the entrance on Via dei Serragli, the entrance led to an inner courtyard decorated with columns of pietra serena, with a cross-vault springing from the capitals. A stone staircase leads up to the second floor, where there is a large reception room with a coffered ceiling, lit by three windows that overlook the inner garden. Since the 17th century, the Palazzo has been famous for its collection of paintings, consisting mostly of works by Florentine, but also Neapolitan, artists. Today in the reception room, it is still possible to admire four large canvases created by Marcantonio Angiolelli commissioned by Prince Giovan Carlo de’ Medici.

The complex also includes a large garden, enclosed on one side of the building by a portico with a cross-vault. The garden, dating back to the 1500s, conserves its original layout with the embellishments of architect Silvani in the part where there has been no construction. There is a hexagonal pool, also by Silvani, at the end of the garden consisting of an aedicula with a triangular tympanum covered with spongy rocks, where once there was a statue of Apollo and today a sculpture with a lion’s head. The Del Rosso coat of arms, with the crenelated tower enclosed by shields shaped like an open mouth, following Buontalenti’s model, is repeated at the corners of the pool.

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