Palazzo Toscanelli, lungarno Mediceo

Entrata Palazzo Toscanelli _ Archivio di Stato (G. Bettini, Comune di Pisa)
Entrata Palazzo Toscanelli _ Archivio di Stato (G. Bettini, Comune di Pisa)
The palace was built at the beginning of the 16th century by the Lanfranchi family. It took on an appearance similar to the present one at the end of the century, following restorations: ashlar corners, aedicule and 'kneeling' windows. The name of the building was coined in 1827, when it bought by the Toscanelli family. Inside, frescoes on the ceilings by Nicola Cianfanelli, Gaspero Martellini and Annibale Gatti are still visible, with scenes depicting Byron and poetry, The apotheosis of Galileo and The apotheosis of Michelangelo (the possible author of the palace’s design).
In November 1821, at the suggestion of the Shelleys, Lord Byron, then the most famous of contemporary poets, arrived in Pisa where he remained until September 1822. During his stay, he often aroused the curiosity of citizens with his eccentric and bizarre behaviour, like when he rode on the shoulders of the Arno and, still on his horse, re-entered the palace, crossed the atrium, climbed the stairs and looked out to the balcony. Imagine the amazement of passers-by!


Quot. I live in a feudal palace on the Arno, famous and ancient, large enough to house a garrison, with prisons below and cells in the walls. This mansion is so full of ghosts that the educated Fletcher (my butler) asked for permission to change his room, but he also refused to occupy the new one because there were more ghosts in the latter than in the previous on. (as in all old buildings), which have terrified the servants so much as to cause me no little annoyance. The house belonged to the Lanfranchi family (the same family recalled by Ugolino in his dream, as his persecutor with Sismondi). The staircase, it is said, was rebuilt by Michelangelo. The temperature here is very mild; it doesn't need fire. What climate!


Lord Byron, Diary, 4 December 1821, letter to Murray
Last update: 27/01/2021
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