From the glorious Renaissance to the present day
Palazzo D’Ambra is a historical palace in Florence. The building – owned by the aristocratic D’Ambra family, originally from Siena but strictly connected to the Florentine nobility and the De’ Medici court itself – dates back at the second half of the XVI century. The D’Ambra Dukes were also in very good terms with De’ Medici’s successors, the Lorraine House.
Their being an integral part of the local aristocracy gave them the access to the best artists so to embellish their Palace: therefore, the ‘piano nobile’ welcomed paintings, frescoes and decorations by some of the most renowned artists of the Florence outstanding art scene, and a brand new Teatrino – a small theatre – was also built in the basement.
As a consequence of the fall of the House of Lorraine, also the D’Ambra Dukes fell into disgrace, so that their properties ended up being confiscated or sold. The Palazzo itself was parceled out to apartments and stores. At the end of the XIX century, the “Pennetti e Fattori” firm opened its music shop on the ground floor and gave life a salotto-caffé concerto, a cafè chantant of sorts in which people gathered to listen to music shows and bel canto. The café was successful among intellectuals and bourgeoisie; Puccini and Mascagni were often there, along with the most famous singers of the period.
At the beginning of the XX century the building was inherited by marquois Alfredo Bargagli’s dama di compagnia, his personal assistant, Rosa Brandi, whose heirs still own Palazzo D’Ambra.
The recent renovation of Palazzo D’Ambra allows travellers from all over the world to live an immersive experience into places and stories which are inextricably linked to the history of one of the most important centres for cultural dissemination during the Reniassance – Florence – while at the same time enjoying the warm intimacy of a cosy home.