Fattoria di Maiano, whose origins date back to 1400, boasts a unique position on Fiesole hills only 5 km from Florence historical center. In these areas some prestigious artists as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Benedetto and Giuliano from Maiano, Boccaccio and many more worked.
For centuries the hills between Fiesole and Florence, where Fattoria di Maiano is located, with
its Hamlet and the houses that are spread in the countryside, have been a place where the first
stone to build the city of Florence was digged.
In 1844 Sir John Temple Leader arrived to Florence. He was a wealthy Englishman who was son to businessmen from London and who bought all the lands, the abandoned caves, the Maiano Hamlet with its Villa and the many houses and villas that were spread in the area including the ruins of the Vincigliata Castle and the compound of Villa i Tatti, where today a branch of Harvard University,The Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, is located.
Sir Temple Leader was fond of travelling: after living in Cannes for four years, he meets his wife Maria Luisa de’ Leoni, from Lucca and he moves to Florence with her, as many English people did at that time. Leader had studied in Cambridge and Oxford, where he nourished with classical, medieval and humanistic culture that made him love a harmonious and romantic ideal of the Middle Ages.
On these hills he creates a wide neo-medieval refurbishment project by a massive tree planting (about 200 acres) of cypresses and pines and he restores everything; he rebuilds the Vincigliata Castle in medieval style, he enlarges and changes the Maiano Villa in Medici style, he expands the Maiano hamlet by transforming the old convent in an agricultural hamlet.
On the stream Mensola banks, already narrated by Boccaccio in his novels, he builds the Parco Romantico della Regina and, by building the sides of the cave named of the Columns (so called because here the most important works that had been commissioned by Lorenzo the Magnificent were created, including the columns of the cappella dei principi in San Lorenzo) between 1873 and 1893 he creates the Laghetto romantico surrounded by 20 acres where he adjusts the percorsi degli scalpellini in trails for his guests by shaping small squares and benches in the panoramic sights.
Temple Leader dies in 1903 without heirs. In 1917 his nephews, coming from London, sell all the lands of Fattoria di Maiano with its Hamlet, the parco romantico and the majestic Villa to dr. Teodoro Stori a famous Florentine surgeon who had married Elisabetta Corsini from the noble Florentine descent of Principi Corsini.
Teodoro Stori, with his wife’s help, carries on Temple Leader’s works by buying more small farms and by enhancing agriculture and completing the tree planting work in the abandoned caves with 114 acres on Monte Ceceri (from 1929 to 1960).
Teodoro and Elisabetta do not have children so they adopt Lucrezia Corsini, Tommaso’s third daughter, forefather of Principi Corsini, who in 1961, at Elisabetta’s death, inherits everything. Lucrezia, already married to Conte Giacomo Miari Fulcis, forefather of one of the oldest families from Veneto (news of the family date back to 1100) and great innovator in the farming field and from whom she will have 4 children, carries on the enhancing and innovation work in the farm, she restores the houses, the Maiano villa and with her children’s help she specializes the firm in quality olive growing and has started, since 1991, cultivation through the Organic method. She experiments free range pig raising, she starts tourism with accommodation, food service, guided tours. In olive growing she starts production under nitrogen and she is one of the founders of Laudemio with which this year Fattoria di Maiano won important awards in Los Angeles and Tokyo. Today in the company with Lucrezia Corsini, her children and grandchildren work, three generations dedicated to the union of tradition and innovation.
Walking through the olive grove, you will easily reach Villa di Maiano, the main house of Fattoria di Maiano that look on to the entire estate. Villa di Maiano has been the set for numerous films including: Tea with Mussolini by Franco Zeffirelli and A Room with a View by James Ivory. It has all the private residence features :magnificent rooms (Tapestries Room, Red Lounge, Old Dining Room, Carriage Room and Billiard Room) with original decor and furnishings, a large terrace overlooking Florence and the Italian garden. Villa di Maiano is now rented in exclusive for every event.
Villa di Maiano, the original owner’s residence of Fattoria di Maiano, is located among the beautiful hills between Fiesole and Settignano and is known to be one of the most remarkable villas in this area.
Once known as Palagio degli Alessandri, it was completely destroyed by a strong hurricane in 1467 which forced the owner Bartolomeo degli Alessandri to sell the large family homestead in order to cover the heavy debts to rebuild the house.
In the first half of the XVI century the house became property of the Sforza family and later on property of the Buonagrazia family. Then in 1546 the noble Pazzi family bought the Villa. The Pazzi family was able to carry on and hand down the glorious memory of the Villa, thanks to their illustrious ancestors like Alfonso de’ Pazzi, remembered as collaborator of the Accademia degli Umidi and the Accademia della Crusca, and Santa Maria Maddalena de’ Pazzi. Born in the old “Palagio”, beatified in 1610 and canonized in 1669, she wrote impressive descriptions and personal memories of the Villa and its countryside.
After the death of Luigi Cosimo Pazzi, the noble branch of the Pazzi family became extinct in the XVIII century. The Villa passed on to the Gucci Tolomei, a rich textile merchant family from Siena until it was bought by Sir John Temple Leader in 1850. He purchased the Villa under a particular clause which read “with closed gates”, including all that was once contained in the historical dwelling.
Villa di Maiano soon became his preferred residence and business headquarters, as well as the very first step of a long and complex work of restoration which the rich and extravagant English politician extended to the surroundings and the nearby castle of Vincigliata. Under the supervision of Sir John Temple Leader, the architect Felice Francolini was appointed to the total renovation of the Villa with full respect to the medieval structure of the house.
One additional floor and a tower with a loggia, all in keeping with the gothic style and medieval architecture, were added to the Villa. In the inner part of the house Francolini transformed the old central courtyard into a large ball room in neorinascimental style, the majestic Sala degli Arazzi (Tapestries Room). Part of the magnificent fireplace characterizing this room was shown at the I Great Exhibition in London in 1851.
Upon Sir Temple Leader’s death in 1903, all his properties passed to his great nephew Richard Bethell Lord Westbury, who sold the Villa to Professor Teodoro Stori, a famous Florentine surgeon. His wife, Elisabetta Corsini, devoted herself with love and passion to the maintenance of the historical dwelling, the same love and passion that the current owner, her niece Countess Lucrezia Miari Fulcis dei Principi Corsini inherited together with the Villa.
In the heart of Dolomites Mountains, few kilometres from Belluno, you will find Villa di Modolo, an amazing venue built in the XVII century by the Miari Family, named Counts by the Emperor Sigismondo in 1412.
The natural setting and the charming atmosphere of its halls make Villa di Modolo, the perfect venue to realize the dream of a fairy tale and unforggettable reception.