What defines a place as a treasure? This probably applies to every corner of Florence; full of hidden history and beauty. Some of these places, at times neglected, we pass by and ignore. This is the case of the Ex-Supercinema located in Via dei Cimatori, halfway between the Duomo and the Palazzo Vecchio.
This complex situated in Dante Alighieri’s neighborhood dates its construction back to the Middle Ages. It had several functions over the centuries but was originally the home to the Cerchi Family. During the 17th century it was the first shelter for poor children, known as the monellini. By the end of the 18th century it housed the first public baths of the city.
In last few centuries it has been continouslly transformed into venues for the entertainment of the Florentines. It was first the Quarconia Theather and, until lately, a modern cinema. The rock arches that surround the its doors are the only remains of the original architecture. Part of the structure, now useless, faces a small but cozy piazza with a Medieval feeling given by the pavement as well as a restaurant that serves food from the time.
The original interior design of the theater included marble and stucco finishes as well as fine tapestries. People who used to attend the cinema before its closure claim it was a beautiful experience. Now we can only wonder what the inside looks like. With this as an example, I invite all to walk through the narrow streets of Florence and appreciate every single place, even those that go unnoticed by the general public.
Fun fact: The lamp hanging on the corner of Via dei Cimatori and Via de’ Cerchi was the light that used to indicate where the shelter for the poor boys was located back in the 17th century.
Written by Luisa Rodriguez
Pictures by Rachel Horvath