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NEWS & EVENTS
Small Romantic Hotel in Florence Italy
A special place where you can spend your time in relax.
with licensed for tours of Florence
We can provide for a private guide english and german speaking.
For more information do not esitate to contact us.
Picasso and Spanish Modernity
September 20th 2014 - January 25th 2015
Florence Palazzo Strozzi
Info:+39 055 2645155+39 055 2469600
Camille Henrot - Grosse Fatigue
October 3rd 2014 - February 8th 2015
Florence, Museo Gucci
Info:+39 055 75923302
Bianco-Valente, Cheryl, Kinkaleri,
October 16th 2014 - January 25th 2015
Florence, Palazzo Strozzi
Info:+39 055 2645155+39 055 2469600
Moses Levy. Sea Light. A story of Italian art 1915-1935
October 30th 2014 - February 15th 2015
Florence, Villa Bardini
Info:+39 055 20066206+39 055 2388616
The Treasures of the Buccellati Foundation
December 2nd 2014 - February 22nd 2015
Florence, Museo degli Argenti
Info:+39 055 294883
Meetings & Conferences
Congresso Smalti Porcellanati
Florence - Convitto della Calza
From May 24th 2015 to May 28th 2015
Short history of Hotel "Pensione Annalena"
Much of the history of the real-life Annalena and her fascinating Palace has been handed down to us in the Florentine Histories written by Niccolò Machiavelli in the early sixteenth century.
What we do know is that she was left orphaned after her mother, the Countess Orsini, died in 1417 and her father, Galeotto Malatesta, Lord of Rimini, died a few years later, the result of serious injuries in battle. At first she was cared for by Conte Attilio Vieri dei Medici. Later she was adopted, together with her immense wealth, by his cousin Cosimo dei Medici and his wife, Contessina dei Bardi, who accepted her as a daughter and gave her the best possible education.
The young Annalena, who was said to be of extraordinary beauty, fell in love with Baldaccio Bicci dei Medici, son of Piero d'Anghiari. The couple married in 1439, in a solemn ceremony at the Basilica of San Lorenzo.As part of her dowry, Cosimo dei Medici gave Annalena the Palace situated on Romana Street, where the couple then lived.
Baldaccio was a proud commander who gained the appreciation of the Medici Court by defending Florence against the Milanese army in the epic Battle of Anghiari in 1440. To honor this achievement, Cosimo transformed the Annalena Palace into one of the most beautiful Florentine homes, enriching it with frescoes, paintings and magnificent furniture. Some works of Beato Angelico and Filippo Lippi, which were original to the home, are on display at the Uffizi Gallery and the St. Marco Museum.
The young couple experienced a few years of happiness, including the birth of their first and only son Guido. But the beauty of the captivating noblewoman Annalena aroused the morbid desire of another man, Bartolomeo Orlandini. Blinded by envy, Orlandini murdered Baldaccio in the Palazzo Vecchio, with the complicity of Cosimo dei Medici, who was mistrustful about Baldaccio’s growing popularity.
Alone and grieving her painful loss, Annalena found refuge in prayer as a Tertiary Dominican and transformed her home into a convent. She died in 1491, and the convent took on her name and continued to host young widows.
Machiavelli wrote that Annalena Convent was also a refuge for captain Giovanni delle Bande Nere, who disguised himself as a woman to escape his uncle, Lorenzo il Magnifico, who sought to assassinate him as a political rival.
From 1530, the convent had been quietly operating under the Order of St. Vincent of Annalena, but in 1808 the Napoleonic laws suppressed the Order.
In 1820, the ruined Palace was purchased and renovated by French military General Mac Donald and his wife Caroline Bonaparte, who was Napoleon's sister and the widow of Murat, King of Naples. They restored the Palace, making it once again a magnificent residence and enriching it with its beautiful garden, one of the first examples of neoclassical and romantic gardens in Italy.
After the death of General Mac Donald, the Palace passed in legacy to his son Hugh Mac Donald, who emptied the home of its precious contents and sold it to a religious order of French Sisters of the Sacred Heart. In 1880, the Palace was founded as a convent-school for educating young ladies of the most wealthy and noble Florentine families.
Several changes of ownership followed, mixing “sacred with profane”, and transforming the former convent first into a home, then into a luxury brothel, and finally into a shelter for young women. Finally, in 1919 the Palace became Pensione Annalena, a landmark for travellers, poets and musicians from all over the world.
The Italian Nobel prize winner for literature, Eugenio Montale, was a frequent guest in the 1930s (his room is still available today) and here he often met with his inspirational muse, the American Irma Brandeis. Montale recalled the Annalena Pensione in one of his most passionate lyrics, the poem "Inside - Outside", dedicated to his Beatrice, the protagonist in absolute sense of his artistic life.
In the 1940s, the Annalena was the residence of Carlo Levi, Italian-Jewish, writer and activist. In 1944, under the arcade of his room which overlooked the Annalena gardens, he wrote the immortal pages of his most famous work "Christ Stopped at Eboli", a masterpiece of Italian literature.
During WWII, the Annalena sheltered and helped to save the lives of more than twenty-five Jewish, British, American and partisans families who were being persecuted by the fascist regime.
They were registered under false names.
In the 1950s, the Annalena also had the honor of hosting Francis Henry Taylor several times with his family. Mr. Taylor was the director for over 25 years of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
In the 1960s, Annalena was often frequented by Italian artists and actors from the nearby Goldoni Theatre, including Vittorio Gassman and Ugo Tognazzi, protagonists from “La Dolce Vita”.
Even the great composer and pianist Luigi Dallapiccola lived in the Palace until his death in 1975.
Take a look at our photo gallery page...