THE BARTOLINI BALDELLI
Between the Val d’Arno di Sopra and Florence
Linked to their lands for 600 years
The Baldelli family belonged to the feudal nobility from Cortona and, by the 13th century, had become one the most distinguished families in the city.
At the beginning of the 1400s, Bartolommeo di Piero Baldelli moved his domains to Montelungo at Terranuova in the Val d’Arno di Sopra. Subsequently his descendents took to calling themselves Bartolini Baldelli changing the family emblem to that still in use today. It depicts Montelungo together with the family’s involvement in the wool trade, the source of the family’s wealth.
Acquiring lands and property in the ‘Podesterie’ (Mayoralties) of Terranuova, Montevarchi, Laterina and Valdambra, in time the Bartolini Baldelli family created one of the largest and best known estates in the Val d’Arno di Sopra of which the Castle of Montozzi was the heart.
In 1558, the Bartolini Baldelli established themselves in Florence. In 1562, they were accepted into the ‘Cittadinanza e Nobiltà Fiorentina’ (Citizens and Nobilityof Florence) and were among the first to be attributed with the Knighthood of St. Stephen. In those years, the brothers, Bartolommeo and Antonio Bartolini Baldelli, in that order, married the sisters, Maria Ginevra and Lisabetta, daughters of Bartolommeo Concini, the First Secretary of State of the Grand Duke Cosimo I. Later, in 1572, Alessandra Bartolini Baldelli was married to the First Secretary of State Belisario Vinta, close friend and sponsor of Galileo Galilei.
These important events guaranteed the Bartolini Baldelli family a privileged status at court of which they took full advantage.
Residing in their townhouse in Via dell’Anguillara in the capital, Florence, they remained for generations trusted members of the Grand Duke’s governments as ministers, ambassadors, governers and various forms of superintendent under both the Medici and Lorena.
Of these institutional roles, the most interesting was that of Postmaster General of the Medici Post Office. This licence was awarded to Francesco d’Antonio in 1598 by the Grand Duke Ferdinand I. After only a year, this title became hereditary. During these busy years, the Bartolini Baldelli came into close contact with many of their counterparts, in particular the Tasso family (Thurn und Taxis).
In the XIX century, Marchese Bartolommeo Bartolini Baldelli, immersed in politics during the last Lorena years, did not favour the annexation of the ‘Granducato’ of Tuscany as part of the new Kingdon of Italy. As a consequence and despite being close to his cousin, Bettino Ricasoli (the Iron Baron), he left all forms of public office and, with the arrival of the House of Savoy, he left politics definitively.
As with most Florentine aristocratic families, the hustle and bustle of life in the capital never distracted the Bartolini Baldelli from a meticulous and passionate management of their lands and farms that have remained the central priority for the family to this day.