Villa Montalvo or Villa "Alla Marina"
The villa is situated in the vicinity of the torrent Marina near the confluence with the Bisenzio. The original nucleus was built at least in the early 14th century, but was subjected to various enlargements and reorganisations in the course of centuries. Around 1570 it became the residence of the noble Ramirez de Montalvo family from Spain that made various modifications, several of which remain in the layout conserved today. In 1760, Don Ferdinando dei Ramirez took up residence here and transformed the property into a farm proper, promoting a series of innovations in agriculture. Very precious tree species were planted in the garden, like the magnolia. Moreover, the park conserves the remains of an old trammel-net that Don Ferdinando used to capture birds.
In 1838, the last member of the family, Giulia Montalvo, married engineer from Lucca, Felice Matteucci who, assisted by father Eugenio Barsanti, invented the first prototype of the internal combustion engine. The Matteucci family remained owners of the complex until 1921. Matteucci’s tomb is in the villa’s noble chapel.
After further turns and changes of hand, the villa was purchased by the Commune of Campi Bisenzio in the 1990s. Since September 2002, it has housed the Public Library. Part of the park has been equipped with facilities and the entire complex is used for cultural, social and sports events.
Texts by Graziano Magrini
English translation by Victor Beard
Last update 08/gen/2008