Palazzo Giuli Rosselmini Gualandi is a palace located in Pisa, on the Lungarno Gambacorti, near the Church of Santa Cristina. The palace has recently become known as the Palazzo Blu (Blue Palace), because of the restored color of its plasterwork.
On November 14, 1356, Doge Giovanni Dell’Agnello, owner of some properties in the area, obtained permission to enlarge some of his buildings, thus raising the first nucleus of the palace, a structure composed of large pillars, with two or more modules, joined to form ogival arches, filled with bricks and decorated with single mullioned windows.
During the first Florentine domination, between 1406 and 1494, the building underwent considerable changes, due to the decline of the Dell’Agnello family. Passed to the Municipality at the end of the 14th century, it became the property of the Republic of Florence, which used it as the headquarters for the five supervisors of the occupied city, until it was given back to Giovan Bernardino Dell’Agnello.
Towards the end of the 16th century, the complex was transformed by the families of Sancasciano and Del Testa. It was precisely Emilio Del Testa, who in 1593 radically transformed the building to a sumptuous late-Renaissance palace, applying a sober decoration to the facade.
In the second half of the 18th century, the palace was subjected to further modifications by the Agostini family, who inherited it from the Venerosi in 1745, and rented it in 1773 to Dr. Cesare Studiati, director of the Russian-Greek Imperial College, on behalf of the Empress Catherine II of Russia. The palace was painted with the characteristic blue color in honor of the Russian patronage.
In 1788, the Palazzo Blu was sold to the Del Testa family by the Agostini family. Subsequently, it was bought by the Bracci-Cambini family, which carried out important renovation works.
The Milanese counts D’Archinto were the owners of the palace for much of the 19th century, until 1861, when the Count Domenico di Ferdinando Giuli bought it for the sum of 50,000 lire, and initiated a campaign of restoration that brought the palace to the current dimensions and appearance. The architect Nicola Torricini was the coordinator of this impressive restoration campaign, unfolded between 1884 and 1903.
Today, the Palazzo Blu is a museum hosting temporary exhibitions and cultural activities, managed by the Fondazione Palazzo Blu.
HOW TO GET THERE
Palazzo Blu is located about 900 meters away from the Pisa Centrale train station. The closest bus station is Gambacorti 1, located about 120 meters away, on the bus Lines 2, 4, 5, 14, LAM Rossa, LAM Verde and Navetta E.