Located just outside the Porta Romana, this church started out in the 14th century as a convent hospital with a mouthful of a name, San Giovanni della Porta di San Pier Gattolino, run by the Dames of Malta, When they were forced to move out during the 1529 Siege of Florence, they were replaced by Jesuits, who changed the dedication. The calza referred to the white hoods. In 2000, after a thorough restoration, the complex became a hotel and congress centre.
The interior of the church has zebra stripes, its original matroneum or women's gallery, and an altarpice by Jacopo da Empoli. Although most of its other paintings have since departed for the Uffizi, there's a pretty cloister with a glass pyramid in the centre, and the refectory with one of the seven Cenacoli or Last Suppers in Florence, this one by Franciabigio painted in 1514 for the Dames of Malta shortly before they left, reminiscent of Leonardo's version in Milan, where every figure is in movement, reacting to Christ's announcement that one among them would betray him.
Piazza della Calza 7
Hours By appointment, +39 055 222287
Images by: Sailko, GNU Free Documentation License