Address of the Florence Charterhouse: Via della Certosa 1, 50124 Loc. Galluzzo, Florence, Italy
By car: The Florence Charterhouse in Galluzzo is located roughly 1 km from the Firenze Impruneta Exit of Highway A1 and is perfectly visible from it.
It can also be reached through SS.2 Cassia from Tavarnuzze Impruneta, subsequently following the local directions for Galluzzo.
By Train: After reaching the Santa Maria Novella (SMN) train station of Florence, take bus no. 37
By Bus: The Florence Charterhouse in Galluzzo can be reached with bus no. 37 and 11
The History of the Charterhouse
It was founded in 1341 by Niccolò Acciaiuoli, Gran Seneschal of the Kingodom of Naples and member of one of the most reknown Florentine families, and the building was almost completed at his death in 1365. The Charterhouse (Chartreuse Monastery) was expanded over the centuries as it was the recipient of numerous donations. Its name and building type come from the Grande Chartreuse, the first monastery built in 1084 by the Carthusian monk Saint Bruno, on the Chartreuse Mountains near Grenoble. Like all the other Charterhouses, the Florence Charterhouse is located at a distance from the city, in an originally solitary and silent place. After the suppression of the religious orders in 1810, the Charterhouse was plundered and about 500 pieces of art were taken away. Only some of the pieces above were returned to the Carthusian monks when the Lorena Duchy was reinstated. (1818). Yet, many furnishings were irremediably lost, just like many paintings and sculptures. The table of the main altar of the church, commissioned by the same Niccolò Acciaiuoli to Gherardo Starnina (Madonna and Saints), is currently divided among foreign museums and collections. Upon being suppressed again in 1866 by decree of the Kingdom of Italy in 1866 and again in 1872, the Carthusian monks order was able to come back to the Charterhouse, although the Italian Government kept its ownership. The earthquake of 1895 required important renovation and a final important restoration was concluded in the ‘50s. The Carthusian monks, subject to a rigid seclusion, were replaced in 1958 by the Benedictine Cistercians, who opened the vast complex to the public. In 2017 the Cistercians were replaced by the Community of San Leolino. The complex was carefully studied and became an essential creative stimulus for the famous French-Swiss architect Le Corbusier, who visited it in his youth. The Chartreuse complex is located on top of Mount Acuto, also known as "Monte Santo" (Mount Saint), a conical-shaped hill near Galluzzo, a village south of Florence.