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During the first half of the 14th century this villa belonged to a famous Florentine named Bartolomeo di Niccolò.It was later owned by Bartolomeo di Filippo Valori, who was closely connected to the Medici family. He acted as commissioner to Pope Clemente VII during the siege of Florence in 1530. Valori was made a Senator by Alexander de’ Medici, but as a reaction to the Duke’s infamy, he joined forces with those fighting for freedom in Montemurlo. On the 20th August 1537 Valori was beheaded and his possessions were confiscated by Cosimo I.

The villa which was then known as “Villa del Morone” was sold in 1542 to one of the most faithful supporters of the Medici family, Bishop Raffaello Minerbetti. It was given the nameBencistà. In the following century it came into the possession of the Ficiati family.

In 1759 it belonged to the Sisters of St. Anne of the Fields and was used as a convent for about 150 years.

Later the house was owned by a succession of people until 1925, when Pietro Simoni and his wife bought it from the son of the Swiss painter Arnold Böcklin. Carlo Böcklin was devoted to painting and had his studio in a loggia (now room 34), dominated by the father’s bust.

It was the Simoni family who converted the villa into a guest house and built extensions.

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