“Ferdinando Della Nave was my great-grandfather and, even though I never met him in person, since I was a child my grandmother, my mum and my aunts always kept his memory alive by telling me stories and anecdotes about him. Ferdinando had an excellent sense for business and by the end of the 1800s he owned multiple properties expanding as far as Arezzo; The list of his properties was quite long and it included palaces, villas, farms, and even the first tobacco factory of the region of Tuscany which only ran for a few years.
Ferdinando alternated business with his passion for plants; he studied botany and in 1865 he began the construction of a botanical garden in the province of Arezzo.
The pictures in my mother’s house portray a proud gentleman with a mustache, quite quite common at that time; I often pictured him walking in one of his estates, wearing a hat and holding a stick, looking proud and elegant.
He married late, to a woman much younger than him, Matilde. With his wife Ferdinando used to have an almost paternal attitude, always thoughtful, while my grandmother, Rosetta, the eldest of their two daughters, used to speak about him as a sensitive and generous father.
The Della Nave’s family lived in Bufalini palace, in the heart of the city of Florence, but also spent a good amount of the year in the countryside. Over the years everything has changed, the glories of the late nineteenth century have given way to two war conflicts and Ferdinando’s heritage slowly disintegrated due to them and subsequent multiple subdivision by inheritance, but a part of him continues to be present, being the beating heart of a now much larger family and its memories.”