Since childhood my grandmother, my mother and my aunts have colored my fantasies with stories and anecdotes that had them as protagonists.

There is news of the internal courtyard that houses our apartments from the mid-seventeenth century, but there is no news of the owners until the second half of the nineteenth century, when Ferdinando Della Nave bought the building overlooking the courtyard, the garden and all the annexes. Everything that surrounds the court was part of a single property; the three-storey building was the noble part, with its terraces and arcades facing the Duomo; the inner courtyard housed the service annexes, where our apartments are today, were the stables and the car warehouse.


Ferdinando had an excellent sense of business and at the end of the nineteenth century his possessions extended to Arezzo; these included palaces, villas, farms, the list is long and also includes the first tobacco factory in the region.

He alternated his activity with his passion for botany, to the point that in 1865 he began the construction of a botanical garden in the province of Arezzo.


The photos at my mother’s house portray a proud gentleman with the typical mustache of the time, I imagine him walking in one of his properties, with hat and cane, proud and elegant. He got married late to a much younger woman, Matilde; they say she had very beautiful skin, smooth even in old age. With his wife Ferdinando he had an almost paternal attitude, always attentive, while my grandmother, Rosetta, the eldest of his two daughters, spoke of him as a sensitive and generous father. The Della Nave family lived in the building in via Bufalini, but also spent most of the year in the countryside. Browsing through the family albums I see characters dressed in elegant clothes enjoying the good life of a bygone time.


Over the years everything has changed, the glories of the late nineteenth century have given way to two wars and Ferdinand’s legacy has disintegrated over the years, with the wars and subsequent hereditary divisions, but a part of him continues to be present and it is the beating heart of family memories. A grandfather who from the past still has lessons to share and something to pass on.


Ferdinando Della Nave is my great-grandfather and Anna Maria is my mother. Together with my uncles and cousins we are compiling the family files to be able to tell you all our anecdotes.