Villa Gallesio-Sanguineti all’Aquila: a 19th Century Farming Estate
The grounds of Villa Gallesio-Sanguineti lie on the gentle eastern slopes of the Valle dell’Aquila (Italian: Aquila Valley) behind Finalborgo.
The estate was set up in the 19th century by Count Giorgio Gallesio, who was born in Finalborgo in 1772 and died in Florence in 1839. Well known for his pioneering botanical studies, Gallesio is now buried inside Santa Croce Church in Florence alongside other great Italians. The prominent botanist is best known for his volume entitled Pomona Italiana (Italian: Italian Fruit Trees) – a work on contemporary pomology, i.e. fruit trees, which features magnificent colour illustrations.
MORE INFORMATION – Gallesio-Sanguineti Mansion
His botanical studies, especially those on citrus trees, were conducted on his estate, where he also welcomed any international guests who came to admire his knowledge and experimental fruit farming.
The grounds have not changed greatly since then and have therefore maintained their original features and there are two buildings on the hights of this sloping estate: a stately mansion with a frescoed facade and a farmhouse bearing the family crest on the front.
Pergola-laced pathways starting from the portico – built by the Sanguineti Family after 1870 – at the bottom of the valley lead up to the two buildings higher up. In 1461, the portico was decorated with a fanlight (1461) in Finale Stone from Saint George’s Chapel inside Castel Gavone depicting Saint George slaying the dragon under God the Father between Adam and Eve.
In 1721, the nearby chapel of Saint Mary of Mercy (English: Santa Maria della Misericordia) was built by the Sanguineti Family for private worship. The chapel stands along the ancient “Spain road” and also features a number of pieces relocated after the destruction of Castel Gavone in 1715.
How to reach the site
Privately owned by the Mangiante Family, the estate can be reached by following the road at the bottom of the Aquila Valley past Finalborgo.
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