Exploring the Remarkable Women of Palazzo della Gherardesca: A Journey through History with Sara Innocenti

By Ivan PetrenkoFeb 29, 2024 05:31 AMNews
Girl looking at paintings by great artists
Girl looking at paintings by great artists . Source: pixabay

On March 8, 2024, the Four Seasons Hotel Firenze commemorates International Women's Day with a special event dedicated to honoring the remarkable women who once resided in the prestigious Palazzo della Gherardesca. As part of the celebration, the hotel is offering a public tour of the property, shedding light on the captivating stories of these influential figures.

Renowned Florentine tour guide and esteemed travel content creator, Sara Innocenti, is leading the immersive experience for guests and external visitors alike. With expertise and finesse, Innocenti guides participants through the historical corridors of the Renaissance palace and its enchanting gardens, immersing them in the lives of notable figures such as humanist Alessandra Scala and countess Costanza de’ Medici della Gherardesca. 

Alessandra Scala, daughter of Bartolomeo Scala, emerges as one of the many talented women of the Renaissance, whose contributions have only recently been rediscovered. A student of humanist Poliziano, Alessandra exhibited prowess in Latin and Greek. At the age of sixteen, she sought advice from Venetian proto-feminist Cassandra Fedele on the modern dilemma of marriage versus pursuing a career as an artist and poet. Three years later, Alessandra demonstrated that a young woman in the 1490s could indeed pursue both paths, marrying fellow linguist and poet, Michele Marullo.

During the early seventeenth century, the property of the hotel was under the ownership of Alessandro de’ Medici, also known as Pope Leo XI. However, it was his sister, Costanza de’ Medici, widow of count Ugo della Gherardesca, who left a significant mark on the house. Despite facing a legal dispute following her brother's alteration of his will, Costanza's legacy endured. In 1607, her son Simone was confirmed as the rightful owner of the property, which remained within the della Gherardesca family for nearly three centuries. Reflecting her devout nature, Costanza added a small ground floor room to her Florence home, adorned with frescoes depicting the life of Guido della Gherardesca, a saintly Medieval ancestor of her late husband. This hermitage later lent its name to Tenuta San Guido, the renowned wine estate responsible for producing the famous "Super Tuscan" Sassicaia.

The celebration at Four Seasons Hotel Firenze serves as a poignant tribute to the indelible contributions of these remarkable women, enriching the cultural tapestry of Florence and inspiring generations to come.

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