(b. 1774, Bibbiena, d. 1858, Firenze)

Exterior view

Villa Poggio Imperiale, Arcetri, Florence

During its long history, the Villa Poggio Imperiale in Arcetri, Florence has often been at the centre of Italy's turbulent history, and has been rebuilt and redesigned many times. First documented in 1427 it was extended over the following centuries.

The present monumental principal façade was created in 1807 for the newly elevated Grand Duchess of Tuscany, Elisa Bonaparte. The architect chosen was Giuseppe Cacialli (1770-1828), who designed the great facade using drawings by Pasquale Poccianti, an architect better known for his later work, the Cisternone of Livorno.

Despite the prominence of the centre projection, horizontal elements dominate the design. They include not just the great length of the façade, clear division of floor levels and continuous cornice, but also the remarkably elongated pediment. The upper floor was added in the second phase of building work by Giuseppe Cacialli.

The photo shows the main façade of the building.