In the neighbourhood
Many buildings in our area date back to early Renaissance. It couldn't be otherwise as Florence has been the cradle of Renaissance. This is confirmed by the many surrounding magnificent villas. One above all is "Villa La Pietra" and its splendid italian gardens. Formerly owned by Lord Acton the villa is today property of the New York University. The villa is visitable for a reasonable fee every Friday or, in groups, for free in April and October (next opening from April 20th to 25th 2015). A little up along the Via Bolognese street is located the "Villa Finaly", a property of the Paris Universities, wich in the past was a dependency of "Villa Spedaluzzo" (just in front of our home) so called because it was builded over the ruins of a previous medieval little spedale, i.e. hospital, where it is said they kept in quarantine foreign people before entering Florence during pestilences.
More villas are visible to those who would like to have a walk down the Via di Montughi until reaching on the left the beautiful "Museo Stibbert" which exhibits an astonishing antique cold weapons collection. Go and see, it's worth it.
The building in which our home is embedded was built in the 1700's and was a sort of service center for the mentioned villas, especially laundry sevices whose rain water wells are still there.
A curiosity about the name of our group of houses "La Pietra" (literally The Stone): it seems that the name derives from this being the place where the first Mile Stone, leaving Florence toward Bologna, was located. So if you like to walk be aware that there are 1480 meters (1 roman mile) to reach Piazza della Libertà where the Via Bolognese roughly begins. If it seems to you a too long way to walk just make a few steps on the left when exiting our gate and find the nr. 25 bus stop which will drive you in a few minutes to Piazza San Marco where the city's center begins.
Enjoy Florence :)