Life in Florence – Last Suppers around the city

Funny enough, after many ‘ Last supper’ paintings in my life, I finally have understood why in Italian they call it Cenacolo.

In the Middle Ages they called the area of the convent, where they were having meals – Cenacolo and most of the Last supper paintings are painted in that area of the monasteries/convents and churches…

I dedicated my day to the visit of some of these Last supper paintings, as Florence is famous for them, they are all around the city. The first one is only 4 minutes on bike from home, in Via Faenza, where there is the so called CENACOLO di Perugino/Cenacolo di Fuligno cenacolo peruginoPerugino (Pietro Vanucci) was a quite famous artist from Perugia, Umbria (the same city of Baci Perugina – yess!!) and he studied in the workshop of Verocchio together with many others (Mantegna, Boticelli, Ghirlandaio, Filippino Lippi, Piero della Francesca, Leonardo – nice company)

The convent was founded by some superrich families in the ‘400 and connected to the Sant’Anna monastery of Foligno, this is why they call it ‘ Fuligno’.  This place used to be the Egyptian museum of Florence for a long time and after the flood of 1966 they stored here most of the things that needed restauration till 1990.

When they found the painting in the 1800s, someone was thinking to see the autograph of Raffaello d’Urbino on the dress of St Matthew apostol, then they became sure that the Cenacolo was made by Perugino and bottega, 1462. (workshop)


sant apollonia cenacoloThe second Supper of the day was at the convent of Sant’Apollonia made by Andrea del Castagno (from the city of Castagno :))

This one is a more scary one, everybody looks strange on it and Juda is always sitting on the other side of the table. No doggy or other nice things around.


The next stop wasthe Cloister of the Barefoot (Chiostro dello scalzo) dedicated to the Company of the followers of San Givanni Battista, that is closed for holidays. If you look at the entrance, it reminds me the film Eyes wide shut – with Nicole Kidman – it seems to be quite scary.

I continued to the San Marco complex – convent at Piazza San Marco.

It consist of 4 main things:chiostro dello scalzo

Cenacolo 4: Last Supper of Domenico Ghirlandaio – my favuorite one so far, with a cat and with nice birds, everybody barefoot with different hair stiles and San Giovanni (=Maddalena=wife of Jesus) sleeping on the table…

Cloister – with a massive cross and San Domenico (= St Sunday) painting from Beato Angelico.

Biblioteca – area with miniatures and explanation of how they were making colours and painted the codexes – extremely interesting. Beato Angelico dedicated years to paint some of these miniatures.

Cells of the monks: Beato Angelico was living for his entire life in the convent and made a nice painting in every monk’s cell. There is a cell where Girolamo Savonarola (important person from the life of Florence) and where Cosimo the Medici were staying – higher class cells with minibar and underground paintings. 🙂

Foresteria – where they were making the simbols/coat of arms for the buildings for the different families


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