Rivers and ditches office, Lungarno Galilei

Particolare Ufficio fiumi e fossi  (L. Corevi, Comune di Pisa)
Particolare Ufficio fiumi e fossi (L. Corevi, Comune di Pisa)
The Judiciary of the Sea Consuls was born in 1475 at the behest of Lorenzo de’ Medici, called the Magnificent. The task of the Sea Consuls was to monitor and take care of the ditches, canals, bridges and roads of the Pisan territory, activities carried out by the current Rivers and ditches office. At the time the institute was called Work of the reparation of the county and city of Pisa. Cosimo I, in 1547, expanded its services and in 1690 the headquarters were moved to the Curzio Lanfranchi, Tortom and Mannaioni palaces in the district of Chinthica, current San Martino: “the sea consuls are the authority that, after the commissioner, is the main one in the city because they oversee all mercantile works, all procedures related to customs, taxes, contract duties, and ditch maintenance works” (Description of Pisa made by Vincenzo Pitti in the year 1616). The architectural complex is the result of an agglomeration of tower houses from the 11th and 12th centuries, which is part of the famous renovatio urbis commissioned by Cosimo I in the sixteenth century. Many scholars indicate the names of Michelangelo Buonarroti, or Bartolomeo Ammannati, as designers of the intervention, primarily for the numerous affinities that can be found with the Florentine palaces. The distinction of the two palaces, Lanfranchi and Del Torto, is visible in via san Martino (60), where we find a fine example of kneeling windows. The visible style from the Lungarno dates back to the nineteenth century and is the result of a restoration by architect Alessandro Gherardesca, when the palace was the home of the very wealthy Livorno Israelites Abram and Isach di Raimondo Franchetti. Inside is a cycle of frescoes attributed to Giovanni Stefano Marucelli and Bernardino Poccetti. Noteworthy is the decoration of the Hall of the Nymphs, on the ground floor.
The house of Count Ugolino della Gherardesca: nothing remains of the domus from the twelfth century, with a large loggia overlooking the Lungarno. Following the accusation of treason, which in 1289 led Count Ugolino to his death in the Torre della Muda (or Fame), the entire house was literally disassembled down to its very foundations, to erase all traces. In 1301, the land was sprinkled with sand, silt is salt and the construction of any type of building was prohibited. In fact, to date, it is the only green area overlooking the southern bank of the Arno, along Lungarno Galilei.
Last update: 31/03/2021
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