Palazzo Spinola, lungarno Mediceo

Ristrutturazione neo gotica - Palazzo Vecchio de’ Medici, Prefettura (G. Bettini, Comune di Pisa)
Ristrutturazione neo gotica - Palazzo Vecchio de’ Medici, Prefettura (G. Bettini, Comune di Pisa)
Ancient residence owned by the noble Albitone in the 11th century, it was owned by the Appiano family, protected by the powerful Gambacorti, but responsible for their defeat. From 1446, the Medici made the palace their residence in the city and Cosimo I, in 1545, started a restoration of the building, giving it a Renaissance taste. After the Medici moved their residence to the current Palazzo Reale, on Lungarno Pacinotti, the palace on Lungarno Mediceo changed ownership several times and then went to Marchesa Vittoria Spinola, the morganatic daughter of Vittorio Emanuele II. It was in that period that architect Ranieri Simonelli completely restored the building, altering its Renaissance forms and proposing neo-Gothic solutions still visible on the façade. The tower is also the result of this change. The building is now the seat of the Prefecture of Pisa.
The death of Eleonora da Toledo: 29 March 1539 was the date of the marriage by proxy between Cosimo I de’ Medici and Leonor Alvarez de Toledo y Osorio, daughter of the viceroy Don Pedro Alvarez de Toledo. The religious wedding in Florence followed, but before that there was their first meeting in Pisa. Arrived in the port of Livorno on 22 June, Eleonora was greeted by Archbishop Onofrio Bartolini and together they headed to Pisa, where the next day she met her husband. She was a elegant woman, always dressed in the best fabrics and her good manners were well received by the population. Eleonora and Cosimo paid particular attention to the city of Pisa, attracted by its geographical position and climate. Inside the palace they welcomed illustrious guests, from Benvenuto Cellini to the ambassadors of Spain and from here they started the construction of the San Rossore estate. It was Eleonora who wanted on the beautiful sea an estate rich in fishing and hunting, closed on all sides by natural borders. The Grand Duchess also wanted to embellish the palace with a garden, according to a project, never implemented, by Baccio Bandinelli. In 1562, she followed her husband to Maremma, together with their children Giovanni, Garcia and Ferdinando and fell seriously ill with malaria. Weak in health, also considering the eleven pregnancies, after only a month of illness, Eleonora died in the Pisan palace on 17 December 1562.
The Beautiful Rosina: Palazzo Spinola was owned by Marquise Vittoria Spinola, morganatic daughter of King Vittorio Emanuele II and of Countess Rosa Vercellana. The beautiful Rosina, so the latter was nicknamed, companion and lover of the King even during her first marriage with Maria Adelaide Habsburg Lorraine, she was named countess of Mirafiori and Fontanafredda by him. On the point of death, Vittorio Emanuele married her to a morganatic marriage. The last years of the beautiful Rosina were spent in Pisa, inside the palace, where she died on 27 December 1885: “L'anno milleottocentottantacinque, addì ventotto di Decembre, a ore antimeridiane nove e minuti quindici, nella Casa comunale. Avanti di me Cavaliere Dottor Leopoldo Peverada Sindaco ed Uffiziale dello Stato Civile del Comune di Pisa […] i quali mi hanno dichiarato che a ore pomeridiane una e minuti quindici di ieri, nella casa posta in Lungarno Mediceo al numero 17, è morta la Contessa Rosa di Mirafiore nata Varcellana, di anni cinquantatré, possidente, […] nubile”. Municipality of Pisa, register of death certificates, year 1885, first part, No. 984.
Last update: 01/12/2020
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