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Maria De Mattias
It is believed that the northern Tower was built in the 1400s, while the open gallery more recently time, in the 1500s. The western side was probably built also in the 1400s, because of the ground floor ceilings and the cellar. The southern side via di Marignolle was added in 1600s. Originally it was a open loggia. The eastern side was probably built in the 1700s.
At the beginning of the 1400s the Villa belonged to the Serragli Family, and from them, in 1437, it passed to Guglielmo Rucellai. In 1481 it was bought by Giovanni Benedetto Zampinis sons, and then, in December 16, 1533, given as a present to Giovanni di Scolaio from Sommaia. In 1735, Laura, Carlo di Sommaias daughter, brought it as a dowry to Amerigo di Bernardo Serzelli.
Florence Nightingale was born in the Villa in 1821. During the war in Crimea, she organized the first volunteer nursing service: Red Cross nurses.
At the end of the 1800s the Villa was bought by Baron Kaufmann, who restored and raised the first floor ceiling. At that time the Villa gained its own splendor because of parties, receptions, etc.
In 1915 the Villa was confiscated by the State, that in 1927 sold it again to Ernest Forster, father of Mary, the lady who sold it to the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in 1957.
When the Adorers bought it, it was in very bad state, because during World War I the Villa has been used as a hospital. It has been restructured and restored, as we now see it, in the years 1970-1973 and 1991-95.
The grounds of the Villa are large and rich with holm-oaks, pine trees and cypresses. A long path offers a suggestive panorama of the City.
In 1964, in an annex to the Villa, a school was built, that welcomes boys and girls, from kindergarten, to elementary and middle school.
The Villa is a tourist attraction. People from England, China, and Japan, who visit the City, stop here to know better the place where Florence Nightingale was born.
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