Palazzo Minerbetti

- Via Tornabuoni -
 

PALAZZO MINERBETTI

is an important example of a well preserved Florentine palace of the 14th century. A shorter building was added to it on the corner of Via del Parione with rusticated ashlar corners and fine stone decorations.

It was built at the end of the 13th century by the Bombeni family who was of English origin and had moved to Florence for political reasons (the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket) who remained the owner until 1459 when a part of it was sold to the Minerbetti family and the other part, on account of Lapo Bombeni's will, to the Capitani of Orsanmichele from whom the Minerbetti purchased it once again.

For the sake of convenience, the Minerbetti also bought some houses on the side of Via del Parione which were later incorporated into a single building. Thus, a beautiful coat of arms of the Minerbetti family was placed on the corner of Via del Parione, which is still present today.

With the extinction of the famiy in 1793,

 

THE PALACE PASSED FIRST TO THE SANTINI FAMILY OF LUCCA

AND THEN TO THE BUONVISI MONTECATINI.

In the nineteenth century it was used as a hotel (the Pellicano Hotel and the Europa Inn). This function has been preserved up till now on the top floors with the prestigious Hotel Tornabuoni Beacci. Later it was purchased by the Compagnia Fondiaria.

In 1761 an alcove and a private chapel were built by the architect Pier Giovanni Fabbroni decorated with frescos by Diacinto Fabbroni. There is also an altar-piece with the martyrdom of Saint Thomas Beckett by Fabbroni.

On 2 July 1767, the palace hosted the Grand Dukes who were there for the Palio of San Giovanni. On this occasion, the terrace was restored taking off the pergola and embellishing it with drapes made of precious white and red cloth, lined with yellow gold fabric.

TODAY THE PALACE, LIKE OTHER HISTORICAL PALACES OF VIA

TORNABUONI APPEARS IN LATE MEDIEVAL STYLE,

 

with rusticated ashlar all over the façade giving if an austere appearance.

Among the seven portals on the ground floor, the first one to the left is the entrance to the palace while the third portal is exceptionally high extending up to the top of the mezzanine. This is due to the fact that, at one time, a lane passed under what was called the Minerbetti turn, connecting Via Tornabuoni to the narrow Via del Purgatorio.

 

 

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