The history of Casa Martelli
When the last descendant of the once prominent Martelli family, Francesca Martelli, died at an advanced age in 1986, the bloodline of this historic Florentine family came to an end. Francesca had never married and lived as a hermit with only a few servants to care for her at Palazzo Martelli, the house that for centuries had been owned by her family. Francesca was a very religious woman and lacking an heir she left her entire fortune to the church. In 1998 Palazzo Martelli was sold to the Italian State, after extensive restoration, it opened to the public in 2009.
The Martelli family settled in Florence in the 14th century, in the street that was later named after them, via de’ Martelli. The family amassed wealth and political influence, and there was a close friendship with another prominent family, the Medici. After centuries of prosperity, things went south. The Martelli’s family was impoverished and forced to sell many real estates, books, and works of art.
Casa Martelli is completely preserved in its original state. As you walk through the different rooms, you feel like you’re in somebody’s house rather than in a museum. The hall with paintings, the ballroom, the golden room, bathroom and garden room with painted walls and many other rooms are free to visit accompanied by a guide (also in English).
The museum Casa Martelli can be visited with a guide only (also in English). The opening hours are listed on the website of the Polo Museale Fiorentino.
Via Zannetti 8