We find Casa dell’Abate Naldi in San Quirico d’Orcia, 40 km south of Siena along the route of the Via Francigena – the old pilgrim route to Rome-
It was built in the XVII century by Matteo Naldi, senese physician, scientist and personal doctor of pope Alessandro VII Chigi.
In 1684 the house became property of Angelo Simonelli, an art expert. He was the nephew of Nicolò Simonelli the curator of the art collections of the Chigi and Pamphili families in Rome. Angelo moved to San Quirico following Cardinal Flavio Chigi when Cosimo III de’Medici honoured him with the title of marquis.
In the late XVIII century the surname of Giorgio Santi was added to the Simonelli one. Giorgio Santi was a naturalist, friend of Diderot and Benjamin Franklin, member of the parisian enlightenment society of “the 9 Sisters” while serving as minister the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. He died without heirs and therefore left his surname and properties to the relatives of his wife, Anna Simonelli.
The first floor entrance is marked by a pair of windows with leaded glass.The reception rooms are located on either side of the hall. When the doors are open the visual effect is remarkable. From the main drawing room, which looks out towards the main street, we can also enjoy the view of the hanging garden located in rear of the house.The Italian-style hanging garden is one of the main features of the house and it’s connected to the building by three terraces.
In the main hall, looking on via Dante, that still maintains the original decor of the XVI Century, the current owners organize chamber music concerts. Vittorio Cipolla, nephew of Vittorio Simonelli, and his wife Lorenza, have started, in 2010, a music festival-Musica negli Horti- with the artistic direction of Maestro Gianluca Capuano.
The musicians will have access for their rehearsals to the main hall where they can also find a baby grand piano. The final concert can either be held in the hall or in the garden, depending on the weather.