Le Dimore del Quartetto

PALAZZO WILSON-GATTAI, FIRENZE

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The English artist Frederick Wilson, born in Hull (England) in 1828, came to Florence to study the Renaissance, fell in love with the city its green, its hills and therefore settled there.
In 1870, when Florence became the capital of Italy, he designed his residence in the new piazza d’Azeglio and commissioned the works to the artisans of the time, among these the pre-Raphaelite painter Annibale Gatti, which also decorated Palazzo Pitti.
His romantic vision of an austere and gothic revival is evident in the architecture of the façade and in the interiors of the main floor.
In 1890 Gaetano Gattai bought the palace to live there with his family, and his son Eugenio, a young architect, designed and built the roof terrace and transformed the large monumental staircase. Besides, he enriched the interiors with decorations and furnishings.
There is also a small Italian garden which has a monumental cedar of Lebanon at its center and in the corners the azaleas and lemons.
A beautiful pool with the statue of Ceres is the background of the garden; at the top a dog between two eagles is guarding the house.
The upper floor has been renovated by the current owners descendants of Eugenio Gattai and architects themselves. Here guests can take advantage of the rich art library and, in spring and autumn, of a large luminous space: the loggia.