The Corsini family purchased the estate in 1363, a decision that was determined by the high quality land and an already-existing olive mill for the production of olive oil, as well as its proximity to Florence.
In the early 1600s, Bartolomeo Corsini (1545-1613), who solidified the family wealth together with his brother Filippo (1538-1601), appointed the painter and architect Santi di Tito (1536-1603) as head of the construction of Villa Le Corti. It was the first large building constructed by the family that underscored their social and political status.
The construction of the Villa was done in two stages:
-the first phase, from 1602 to 1614, when the preexisting building was demolished and the new one was built, with the first decorative projects by Bartolomeo. During this phase, he also constructed the areas for the farm and, in particular, the immense wine cellar that expands through various stories under the Villa and the surrounding fields;
-the second phase, from about 1689 to 1700, during which Filippo (1647-1706) designed the decorative furnishings with sumptuous and unique details, among which the alcove stands out.
The Villa, with its majestic architecture from the late Renaissance, has a rectangular base with two towers at its main facade.
The courtyard inside the Villa is surrounded on four sides by a loggia, its arches in cross vaults, and leads to the rooms of the ground floor.
Among these rooms, the Sala delle Donne (“Women’s Room,” or the lunch area) is particularly notable. It has been called thus since the end of the 19th century when the artist Gaetano Bianchi painted it with the crests of noble houses of the women who married into the Corsini family. Another room is the Sala di Clemente XII (the ballroom), where an imposing marble bust of the Corsini pontiff is positioned.
On the second floor is the chapel frescoed by Bernardino Poccetti and the apartment that Filippo requested to be constructed in occasion of his nuptials with Lucrezia Rinuccini. Filippo gave the task of frescoing the apartments to Antonio Giusti and Alessandro Gerardini; and the design of the alcove to Giovannozzo Giovannozzi, whose architecture resembles a cave.
The Corsini Archive has been located on the second floor since 2014, when it was transferred to the Villa after three centuries in Florence.
Ten rooms of 1,200 linear meters of records, documents, scrolls, one after another…documenting ten centuries of the family’s history. It is an extraordinary and unique font of information for scholars, not just researchers of family history, but also for Italian history studies.
The Villa is the private residence of Clotilde and Duccio Corsini, who reside there as custodians, valorizing this vast, monumental complex with passion and care.