Niccolini di Camugliano Real Estate

Niccolini Family

The Niccolinis originate from the Sirigatti family and adopted their name around 1250. The Sirigattis came from the Pesa valley. The first documents on this family relate to Arrigo son of Lucense. In 1208, Arrigo married Scarlata di Paganello. A document of 1233 shows that Arrigo Sirigatti owned three houses in the castle of Passignano and some land in the surroundings.
According to a family legend, Arrigo fought in the battle of Benevento in 1266, because of the courage he showed in this occasion and of the cat ("gatto" in Italian) on his shield, he was nicknamed "Sire del Gatto" (Lord of the Cat), from which the name Sirigatti derived.

The first of the family to move to Florence was Filippo, son of Ruza of Arrigo, towards the end of the XIII century. It was after him that the family started being called Niccolini dei Sirigatti, then just Niccolini. Filippo's descendants prospered as merchants. Lapo of Giovanni (1356-1429) was a wealthy citizen and an influent politician in republican Florence.
Otto son of Lapo of Giovanni (1410-1470) was a prominent political figure in his time. As an ally and strong supporter of Cosimo il Vecchio de'Medici, Ambassador for the Florentine republic and expert jurist, he contributed to establish the Medici's regime. His role and political influence are confirmed by the fact that his is the second name in the famous pact of 1 May 1449, in which 64 important Florentine citizens swore an oath of allegiance to Cosimo il Vecchio.

The Family's political and economical power was definitely consolidated by Agnolo son of Matteo (1502-1567) and by his son Giovanni (1544-1611). Agnolo was Cosimo I's right hand and was entrusted of the most delicate missions. Among these was defending the Grand Duke's hereditary rights against the claims of Margherita of Austria, daughter of the Emperor Charles V, and those of his cousin Caterina de'Medici, future Queen of France. A widower from 1550, Agnolo was rewarded with the Cardinal's hat and the Diocese of Pisa for his many services and long-lasting fidelity to Cosimo.
Fidelity to the Medicis had its final consecration in 1637, when Grand Duke Ferdinando II created Filippo di Giovanni (1586-1666) Marquess of Ponsacco and Camugliano.
This is an important date in the family history, as it represents the apex of a long period, during which the Niccolinis had always been near to the apex of power.

The figure of Antonio Niccolini (1701-1769) last child of Filippo, third Marquess of Ponsacco and Camugliano, also stands out in the family history. A man of many interests, after completing his studies under the supervision of Giuseppe Averani, he combined a great passion for literature with a growing curiosity towards other cultures, especially for the anglo-saxon world. He had an interesting life. Exiled from Tuscany in 1748, he travelled extensively. He kept constant epistolary contact with the most eminent personalities of his time in Italy and in Europe. His vast correspondence is still preserved in the Niccolini's archives.
An other important member of this family was Marchese Eugenio Niccolini di Camugliano, (1853-1939) who held various public offices, he was Lord Mayor of Prato and a Senator of the Kingdom of Italy. He is also remembered as a passionate hunter and wrote a famous book of shooting memoirs. In 1879, Eugenio Niccolini married Cristina Naldini, the last descendant of this other old Florentine patrician family. Her rich dowry included the Palazzo in Piazza del Duomo in Florence, that still belongs to the family.

Some interesting facts about the Niccolini family

One very important accomplishment of the family over the centuries has been the recently restored chapel in Santa Croce. It is the work of Dosio and the dome was frescoed a century afterwards by the so called 'Volterrano' while the statues on the Niccolini Sarcophagi were the work of Francavilla.
The chapel is particularly extraordinary for the marble and stone used in its execution which render it quite unique.It is said that it was while admiring this splendid monument that the French writer Henri Beyle, better known as Stendhal, began to feel ill. This is how the expression "Stendhal's syndrome" has its origin.
Another interesting point regarding this funeral monument created for Giovan Battista Niccolini, a great dramatist of the Risorgimento who died in 1861, is the statue of liberty which later inspired the French Bartholdi in the realization of the one in New York.

Visit the website Archivi Storici for further information about the Niccolini family.