Amerigo Vespucci as Medici Agent
I happened to look into the lobby of a building in the Ognisanti district of Florence. I opened the door to find a musty old grand entrance hall, complete with dark ceiling frescos and large, dimly lit statues. It turned out to be a hospital which was once the location of the residence of the famed Vespucci family, which spawned Amerigo Vespucci, after which the Americas are named.
In the back of the complex is an alcove containing what look to be 18th century frescoes depicting a papal ceremony, a death bed scene (reference to the hospital?), and a goddess, presumably all having something to do with the Vespucci family and/or the hospital.
The fascinating thing about Amerigo Vespucci is that it appears that his journey to the New World was financed by the Medici family. There were a few descriptions of Medici involvement with Amerigo Vespucci shown in the literature of an on-site exhibit.
What this suggests is that the Medicis, being perhaps the richest and most powerful family in the world in the 15th century, may have been competing with the Vatican and its Iberian monarchs for conquest of the New World.
I have included all of the photos I took of the building and exhibition literature in the following galleries. Descriptions are in Italian, but short and fairly simple to interpret.