The building, named Palazzo Toscanelli, in which the Residence is located, is currently owned by the Gherardi Del Turco family, and has belonged to the family from the end of the 14th century. In this prestigious building, lived the celebrated astronomer, geographer, and mathematician Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli (1389 – 1482). The Maestro Filippo Bruneslleschi, often consulted with Paolo di Pozzo during the construction of the Duomo di Santa Maria del Fiore, the celebrated symbol of the city of Florence, whilst Cristoforo Colombo commissioned him to create a map of the earth’s globe. A commemorate plate is visible on the walls of the building.
Palazzo Toscanelli was also the location of a fascinating love story. The visible outline of a sealed door within the building confines, recalls one of the most romantic stories of the Medici era in Florence. In the year 1575, Francesco 1, successor to Cosimo 1, had an affair with the beautiful Bianca Cappello (the lovely façade of her residence can still be seen at n. 26 Via Maggio).
To connect Palazzo Pitti, home of the Medici family, and the Cappello home, construction of a passageway was initiated to allow the two lovers to meet, far from the indiscreet eyes of other persons. The passageway was never completed, but the sealed doorway remains a testimony to their love story.