Between middle ages and renaissance
Walking along the paths of the park is a journey back to the origins of Florentine Medici family . The small village of Maiano, on the slopes of Monte Ceceri, was the destination and source of brilliant artists during Middle Ages and Renaissance. At the Farm you can still explore the places that were inspiration for sculptors, painters, engineers and architects. From Boccaccio to Michelangelo, from Benedetto and Giuliano da Maiano to Leonardo Da Vinci, who experimented his first flying machines in these hills. The small lake Colonne, in the heart of the farm, owes its name to the columns of Cappella dei Principi inside Basilica di San Lorenzo. Thanks to Lorenzo the Magnificent, they were in fact built with stones from the quarry that still dominates the lake. The same stone was also used for Michelangelo’s famous staircase at Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana. That’s why visiting Fattoria di Maiano is also discovering the intimate and indissoluble bond between Florence and its rural setting.
The romantic heritage of Sir John Temple Leader
The current appearance of Fattoria di Maiano owes much to the work of Sir John Temple Leader. Son of British industrialists and cultured humanist, Sir Temple Leader bought the village and the house of Maiano in 1844, as well as quarries and other colonies. Since then, he started a majestic work of neo-medieval restructuring. Thanks to his talent, you can still admire the splendid Queen’s Romantic Park, inaugurated by Queen Victoria in 1893, and enjoy the small lake Colonne from the bridge dedicated to his lost wife, Maria Luisa de ‘Leoni, or find pleasant refreshment in the Tea House, after a walk in the Botanic Garden through the ancient paths of the stonemasons. Or, again, meditate sitting on a bench in the shade of the majestic holm oaks and cypress trees.
From Twentieth Century till today
The work of Sir Temple Leader was continued, at his death, by the famous surgeon Teodoro Stori and his wife Elisabetta Corsini, of the noble Florentine family of Corsini Princes. They worked on further reforestation and development of agricultural activities. Their niece Lucrezia Corsini also carried out the evolution of the farm together with her husband, Count Giacomo Miari Fulcis, progenitor of the noble Venetian family and great innovator in agricultural branch.