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Palazzo Davanzati is located in Florence on Via di Porta Rossa 9. The Museum of the Casa Fiorentina Antica is housed inside.
The palace is an excellent example of Florentine residential architecture of the 18th century, built in the middle of the century by the Davizzi family, wealthy merchants of Calimala (or merchants), and later sold in 1516 to the Bartolini family, rich members of the Art of the Exchange, and finally in 1578 to Bernardo Davanzati, as well as a wealthy merchant, as well as an important economist, agronomist, scholar and Italian historian. It was he who put the family coat of arms on the façade and also built the altana (loggia terrace) on the third floor, instead of the original merlatura typical of medieval houses-towers.
The palace enjoyed some splendor at the end of the eighteenth century when it hosted the Accademia degli Armonici, which included composers such as Luigi Cherubini and Pietro Nardini.
The palace belonged to the Davanzati family until 1838, when Charles, the last exponent of the family, committed suicide. The building was then subdivided into neighborhoods and underwent various internal structural changes.
In 1902, a room of the palace was rented by Giovanni Papini and Giuseppe Prezzolini, together with Giovanni Costetti, Adolfo De Carolis, Alfredo Bona, Ernesto Macinai, Giuseppe Antonio Borgese, to found the literary magazine Leonardo, edited by Vallecchi 25 dossiers were published, from 4 January 1903 to August 1907.
In 1904, the estate, which had escaped almost to the nineteenth century demolition, was acquired by the antique Elia Volpi and later restored and furnished in the 14th century style. In 1910 he opened it to the public for the first time as a private museum of the "Casa Fiorentina antica", which was immediately loved by foreign collectors and travelers, who often visited it to take inspiration for the furnishing of their homes. In 1916, Volpi organized a memorable auction in New York where he sold the whole furniture of the palace with great profit: the event is remembered as an important stage for the dissemination of neorenesity in the United States.
In 1920 the house was redone and again the furniture was sold in 1924, but this time instead of going missing, it was bought by Egyptian antique Vitale and Leopoldo Bengujat, who also rented the building and thereafter bought (1926). In 1934 the furniture was auctioned and bought by the Spanish Art Gallery.
In 1951 the palace was purchased by the Italian State who used it permanently to the museum, with furniture, paintings and objects coming from other Florentine museums and partly from purchases and donations received. In 1956 the museum was reopened with an outfit that sought to recreate the atmosphere of a private home.
Since the late 1990s, it has been subject to a long and delicate restoration. In 2005 the ground floor and the first floor were reopened, and on 11 June 2009 it was completely reopened.