I’M IN FLORENCE!?
Robert Langdon’s head throbbed. He was now seated upright in his hospital bed, repeatedly jamming his finger into the call button. Despite the sedatives in his system, his heart was racing.
This happens in the second chapter of the novel Inferno by Dan Brown.
The protagonist Langdon is hospitalized at San Giovanni di Dio Hospital, more commonly called Torregalli Hospital because of where it is located.
In ancient times, the hospital was in Florence in Borgo Ognissanti, and its foundation dates back to the fourteenth century AD at the behest of the merchant Simone Vespucci: He was a relative of Amerigo Vespucci, the explorer who later gave his name to the American continent
In the fifteenth century, the hospital was almost in ruins, and the Grand Duke Ferdinand II granted it to the friars who belonged to the order of San Giovanni di Dio.
Therefore, since 1588, the hospital has been the center of reference for all the sick and needy people of the city and became famous for his works of charity.
After the unification of Italy, the friars left the hospital management, and since 1982 it has become part of the City of Florence and has been designed for different uses.
But the hospital of San Giovanni di Dio has not ceased to exist: since 1982, it has been located on the ancient land of the Torregalli Farm, first owned by the monks.
Torregalli was originally a stronghold of the powerful Nerli family, which extended its possessions from the village of Soffiano in Settimo. In the fifteenth century, it was transformed into a villa.
Through various vicissitudes, it then became the property of the Christian friars Order of San Giovanni di Dio, also called Fatebenefratelli Order (“You do well brothers”).
The ancient castle of Torregalli (which means “tower of cocks”) gives its name to the hospital and is today on the border of the City of Florence and Scandicci.
Today, the beautiful complex is a condominium property, and its garden and frescoed halls can be visited each second Sunday of the month.
The new Hospital of Torregalli is not very far from the castle and serves the area southwest of Florence, with more than three hundred beds.