Who we are
Find out more about our history and who we are
Santa Monica History
Down in the XIII century, the florentine Baldassare Bonsi was the owner of a building named the Albergaccio, located in what today is the via Santa Monaca. It is unclear what was the use of this building, however in 1442 we know that it was converted into a monastery by Ubertino de Bardi on behalf of the Agostinian order of Saint Monica.
The “official life” of the ancient convent lasted until the edict of Saint Cloud in 1808, after that the building was transferred in 1814 in the hands of the “Educatorio of Christian Doctrine” a religious institute which decide to create the first kindergarden in Florence the “Asilo di carità”. The duty of the Educatorio was to give a religious education to the youngsters of the surrounding district, function wich was carried on for nealry a century until the breakout of WWI. After the war it also became a place for after-school activities at least until 1948.
But it wasnt until 1966 – during the infamous flood of the river Arno – that the building became for the first time a meeting point for young people from all over the world who came to help in the recovery of the city, the well-known “Mud Angels”. In those difficult months the building gave shelter to hundreds of volunteers, among which a good number of boy scouts. And it was the florentine branch of the scouts who was soon to develop the idea of transforming the building from a place of temporary accomodation to a permanent one.
So, in those last years of the sixties the first hostel of Florence was founded, the Hostel that was shortly after called Santa Monaca.
The Santa Monaca Hostel it is in the heart of the San Frediano district, it is the oldest hostel in Florence; in fact, it maintains its original charm from the large, simple and spartan spaces of a time that was, lived by numerous pilgrims, wayfarers, passers-by and single travelers or groups.
It’s perfect spot to easily reach by foot within minutes all major monuments such as the Duomo of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Uffizi Museum and the Galleria dell ’Accademia. The area is also well connected to other parts of the city via bus lines.
The Hostel offers room types that range between double rooms up to dormitories with more than 10 beds. Dorms can be mixed or female. Bathrooms are shared. Bed linen is included, and towels are on request with cash deposit and a cost.
On the ground floor there is a fully equipped kitchen for the guests, a dining room with 100 seats, a meeting room and an Auditorium in the ex-Santa Monaca church next door. On the upper floors a private terrace and all dormitories. Other services free of charge are luggage deposit, 2 pc with internet access in the common area, Wi-Fi on all floors, safe deposit at the reception, air conditioning and lockers in all rooms, the padlock on request with cash deposit and a cost.
Santa Monaca Hostel also has vending machines for snacks, hot and cold beverages, postcards and a small minimarket and a self-service laundry.
We don’t provide private parking, but you can stop with your car in front of the Hostel to unload your luggage and we will give you a special permit that grants you access in the center for a couple of hours. There is a Parking 5 minutes from the Hostel that charges you a decent fee.
The young and dynamic staff is at your disposal for info, suggestions and help.