“Le Murate” has been the prison of Florence for more than a century, until 1985. Before being a prison, it used to be a monastery (in both cases, not exactly a fun place). Nevertheless, during the last years things have changed a lot. The buildings forming the prison underwent a smart and effective refurbishment, also gaining free access from the nearby streets, so the two internal cloisters of the jail are now two (very beautiful) public squares. In one of those, they made a “literary café”, the one I’m writing about. In the other one, there’s now a restaurant named “Le Carceri“.
I love the way this area was brought back to life and I love the atmosphere of this cultural café even more, it’s a bit alternative, a bit bohémien, just like its customers. It is also a good place to drink a beer while listening to live music, since the old-monastery structure retains excellent acoustics. And, if you don’t appreciate this kind of atmosphere as much as I do, you might want to visit the square for what it really is: a spot of beauty.