Villa del Salviatino has been one of the most beautifid and well-known villas of Firenze. It has been photographed arid described in magazines, because it has been a luxury house — carefully restored and magnificently _furnished according to the fine taste and distinction of Ugo Ojetti, a “non-native” Florentine. The history of the building is connected/linked to that of the great families. In the past this villa, or palagetto (little palace), located/situated at the slope of the Maiano hill, used to be called the “Tegliaccio”. In fact, from after the first ownership, the Baldesis in the 14th century and the second ownership, the Bardis in the 15th century the villa belonged to the Tegliaccis. This name was lost when the Counts Orsini di Pitigliano got the villa from their creditors, the Rucellais. The Counts owned this property until 1517 when they gave it to the Dal Borgos. In 1531, the property was bought by Alamanno d’Averardo Salviati. He made the villa re-build, probably under the expertise of the architect Gherardo Silvani. A garden was designed as to surround the villa and annexes. Therefore, the name “Salviatino” is the short for Salviati as to distinguish the villa from the family palace nearby the Ponte alla Badia ofFiesole. Francesco Redi has produced verses for the villa:
Fiesole viva, eterno viva il nome
Del buon Salviati e del suo bel Maiano.
Nowadays, the villa looks like a big 19th-century palace situated on the hill in the middle of what used to be a Romantic garden. However, when observing the villa carefidly, you can discover the 16th-century features and you can image the great villa characterised by the grand six-arches loggia on the main façade and on the three sides — closed by stone balustrades, without the last floor, built at a later time. The villa belonged to many owner who applied to the property various re-arrangements. Among them, there is a tall tower built in 1871 and then lowered and redesigned in a 16th-century style after a couple of decades. However, it wasn’t until Ugo Ojetti owned the villa that the original design of the villa, i.e. Gherardo Silvani’s design, was brought back to life. During the ownership of Onetti. Villa Il Salviatino became one of the ” Florentine royal palaces” of the beginning of the 20th century together with Villa I Tatti (owned by the American art critic Berenson), Villa Montalto (owned by the Neapolitan bibliophile De Marinis) and Villa Vittoria (owned by the antiquarian Contini Bonacossi). Ojetti re-opened four arches when he bought the villa in 1911. He made evety effort to take away as many of the medieval features as possible from the villa and planted a formal garden. The splendor of the Salviatino disappeared in 1946 together with the lost of its lord. Unfortunately, there are only old photos of the beautiful formal garden which used to be in front of the villa overlook-ing Firenze — black and white photos, exhibiting strong contrast, with the impressive size of the villa above and the lemon-pots in foreground. Nowadays, going along the shadowy entrance boulevard -where you can encounter pheasants and even boars —you will reach the seriously damaged conservatories, the grown-wild parterre. You can reach the abandoned villa by opening your way through the shrubs and undergrowth. The layout of the paths is disappearing as well as he paving of polychrome pebbles.