House of Galileo Galilei on Costa San Giorgio
On Costa San Giorgio, in the populace of Santo Spirito, is the location of the houses that the Galilei family purchased in the period between 1629 and 1634. The first house was sold by Iacopo Bramanti Boschi to Vincenzo on December 20, 1621. The second house was sold by Iacopo Zuccagni to Galileo on August 18, 1634. There was a dispute with Zuccagni around this house, because he did not acknowledge Galileo possession until the decisions of the Supreme Magistrate. Today, on the facade, we can see the coat of arms of the Galileo family and a portrait of the Pisan scientist.
In May 1633, due to an epidemic of plague that had gone rampant through Florence for quite some time, the Madonna of Impruneta was carried in procession through the city. Along the streets travelled by the image, displays with torches, lamps, altars and fountains were set up. Galileo’s house on Costa San Giorgio was decked with an altar inside the door and a fountain that was so original - the most beautiful of its kind - that it was thought to be an invention of Galileo himself. In the same period, the scientist was in Rome in the middle of the trial which was to end with his condemnation by the Court of the Inquisition.
On Costa San Giorgio stood the Convent of San Girolamo, also known as the Convent of San Giorgio, where a daughter of Galileo’s sister Virginia was a nun with the name of Suor Arcangiola. Maria Virginia, daughter of his grandson Vincenzo, was also a nun here with the name of Suor Maria Olimpia. All the expenses incurred by Galileo for the convent of San Giorgio and for his great granddaughter Virginia Landucci between 1640 and 1641 were recorded.
Texts by Graziano Magrini
English translation by Victor Beard
Last update 21/gen/2008