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DIDA Dipartimento di Architettura

Santa Verdiana

Piazza Ghiberti n.27 – Tel. 055 2755180 e 055 2755181

This is where the Second-cycle degree courses on Landscape Architecture and in Architecture (c.u.) take place.

The space also houses the Information Technology (LIA), Communication and Image (LCI), Photography (LFA), and Survey (LRA) Laboratories, as well as classrooms and areas for study.

The ex-convent of Santa Verdiana, situated on the limits of the quartiere of Santa Croce, occupies a section of the block between Piazza Ghiberti, Via dell'Agnolo and Via Ferdinando Paolieri. It was acquired by the University of Florence in 1986 and currently houses one of the educational centres of the School of Architecture. In the following years it underwent a series of radical restoration and adaptation interventions intended to enhance its functionality and refurbish spaces and volumes with historical-architectural value that had been compromised by its long spell as a prison.

The history of Santa Verdiana began in 1395, when Niccolò Manetto di Buonagiunta, citizen and notary of Florence, acquired the monastery, seat of the Father General of the Vallumbrosan monks, and destined it to the nuns of the order. Five years later, once the building had been adapted and the church had been built, the convent was dedicated to Saints Giovanni Gualberto and Beata Verdiana. Verdiana was a nun who, in the first half of the 13th century, lived for 34 years in a walled-in cell in the company of two serpents. Like Buonagiunta, she was from Castelfiorentino.

The convent was enlarged in 1469 by Cosimo the Elder. The garden was walled and the cloister was built, using arches supported by octagonal pillars with capitals shaped as acanthus leaves. In memory thereof is the emblem of the Medicis, visible on the external wall on Via dell'Agnolo.

The various events which took place during the following centuries brought the definitive abolishment of the convent in 1865, and its transformation into a female prison, which included the functional adaptation of the old spaces of the structure.

In 1983, with the construction of the new prison at Sollicciano, Santa Verdiana was liberated and its spaces destined to the Faculty of Architecture.

It currently houses the Five-year, Single-cycle, and Second-cycle Degree Courses in Architecture, the Landscape Architecture Degree Course, and the Masters Programme in Architectural Design.


from“ Le sedi storiche della Facoltà di Architettura” - Gabriella Orefice “ Il complesso di Santa Verdiana”- OCTAVO Franco Cantini Editore 1996

santa verdiana

Degree Courses

  Single-cycle degree in Architecture class LM-4
Second-cycle degree in Landscape Architecture inter-class LM-3 LM-69


  Architectural Information Technology
Communication and Image
Architectural Survey
Architectural Photography
Technologies for Mediterranean Dwelling

last update: 16-June-2015
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