Borgo Ognissanti history
The Florence Institute of Design International is located on the historical street of Borgo Ognissanti which runs between Piazza Goldoni to Via il Prato. The ‘borgo’ indicates that at one time the street was outside the city walls. Borgo Ognissanti is named after the Church of Ognissanti, which is a Franciscan church founded by the lay order of the Umiliati, and is dedicated to all the saints and martyrs, known and unknown.
The Church of Ognissanti was completed during the 1250’s, but almost completely rebuilt on Baroque designs around 1627. It was among the first examples of Baroque architecture within Florence. The Umiliati specialized in working with wool, and so their church was in the perfect location, close to the river. They gained a good reputation throughout Florence and started to accumulate works of art, such as the Madonna and Child with Angels by Giotto, which is now housed in the Uffizi. In the interior, there are also frescoes by Ghirlandaio and Botticelli, including the famous Last Supper in the refectory. During the sixteenth century the Umiliati declined and the Franciscan order took over the running of the church.
Opposite the Florence Institute of Design International is the House of Vespucci, where Amerigo Vespucci was born. Vespucci demonstrated that North and South America were a separate continent to Asia, and it is after him that the America’s are named.