Certosa

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Certosa

The incredible Carthusian complex was largely funded in 1342 by the wealthy Florentine banker Niccolò Acciaiuoli, whose guilt at having amassed so much money must have been at least temporarily assuaged with the creation of such a structure to honor God. In the grand cloister are stunning (but faded) frescoes of Christ's Passion by Pontormo. Though much of the paint is missing, their power is still unmistakable. Also of great interest are the monks' cells; the monks could spend most of their lives tending their own private gardens without dealing with any other monks. To get here, you must either take Bus 37 and get off at the stop marked "Certosa" or have a car. Tours, which are mandatory, are given only in Italian, but even if you can't understand what's being said, you can still take in the sights.

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