Plans have been announced to commence work on an Italian language museum in Florence in 2021. The former "new monastery" in the Santa Maria Novella complex was decided as the location for this addition to the city’s cultural scene.

 

 

The former "new monastery" in the Santa Maria Novella prior to restoration

 

 

 

The museum is expected to cover the long history of the Italian language, starting with the “Carta di Capua”, dating to 960, the earliest known document to contain the Italian vernacular, and focusing on Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch, Ariosto, Galilei, Machiavelli, Leopardi, Manzoni, D’Annunzio and Sciascia. The cultural centre will extend as far as the modern day and the evolving use of Italian in the contemporary world. Temporary exhibitions will be held on the ground floor and the permanent display will occupy the main floor, while the spacious entrance is dominated by a beautiful spiral staircase designed by Giuseppe Martelli, who worked on several important commissions in Tuscany, including the Galileo Tribune at the Specola Museum. The renovation work will make the old premises energy-efficient and create rooms for educational outreach as well as a bookshop.

 

 

The former "new monastery" in the Santa Maria Novella prior to restoration; staircase by Giuseppe Martelli

 

 

The plans for the Italian Language Museum were presented on December 11 in Florence by the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Activities, Dario Franceschini; Mayor Dario Nardella; and the city councillor for culture, Tommaso Sacchi. The museum is being financed by the Italian Ministry of Culture as part of the Strategic Plan for Major Cultural Heritage Projects and is expected to cost 4.5 million euro.

 

 

The former "new monastery" in the Santa Maria Novella prior to restoration

 

 

“We are excited about this tangible project during the year in which we will be celebrating Dante , which is why we intend to start the work by the end of 2021,” commented Dario Nardella, Mayor of Florence. “The Italian language is not only our heritage, but world heritage, and this museum will be the place designated to furthering its knowledge and promotion internationally.”

 

 

The former "new monastery" in the Santa Maria Novella prior to restoration; staircase by Giuseppe Martelli

 

 

This latest project in the Santa Maria Novella complex is part of an overarching plan for the old Dominican monastery. Other developments include create leading facilities to hold conferences and weddings.

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