ACH Hotel - Italia


Who Are We?


The Guest House of the C.S.D – Gould Institute is run by the Chiese Evangeliche Protestanti, a coalition of Italian Protestant Churches. The profits from the guest house support various social service programs for children, the elderly, and people in need. In the same building, the Institute operates a social service center for minors in difficulty.



History of the Building


The Guest House is located in a palazzo constructed in the mid 1600’s as a residence for the noble Florentine family Del Rosso. The palazzo later passed to other important families, first to the Salviati family for a long period (the building is commonly know as the Palazzo Salviati) and then to the Ricasoli family. In 1861, with the help of Dr. R.W. Steward, the Presbyterian Church of Ireland purchased the building and donated it to the Waldensian Church. The Palazzo Salviati then became the seat of the Waldensian Faculty of Theology that remained in Florence until 1922. From that moment, the palazzo has belonged to the Gould Institute. The name comes from Emily Gould, American philanthropist who founded a children’s home in Rome in 1871 that provided education and job training for minors in difficulty. The home moved to Florence in the 1920’s.  Today the Gould Institute has two principal activities. The first is assistance to youth in difficult social conditions. The second is the guest house, whose profits are utilized to support the programs of the Gould itself and other social service structures under the direction of the Synod Commission of the Deaconate, a governing body of the Waldensian Church. The social service sector begins with 2 residential family-style houses called Arco and Colonna where minors, entrusted to the Gould by the Juvenile Courts and the governmental social services network, come to live. There are also two daily after - school programs, Limonaia and Girasole, where children are tutored and supervised. There is also an external apartment, Casa Airone that hosts young men and women coming from the residential community of the Gould or similar communities who have reached their 18th birthday and have not yet found a job and/or lodging. Finally, there is a program of supervised encounters between parents and children for those parents who are divorced and, in accordance with the ruling of the Juvenile Courts, may spend time with their children only in a safe environment monitored by our social workers.

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