Palazzo Toscanelli, known until the 19th century as the Palazzo Lanfranchi, is a Renaissance-style palace located on the Lungarno Mediceo, in Pisa, about 120 meters away of the Palazzo Vecchio de’ Medici.
Since 1913, the palace is the seat of the State Archive (Archivio di Stato di Pisa), which holds an impressive collection of documents from the archives of the Pisan Republic. Over time, the archive was enriched with documents from the Pisan monasteries or donations from private individuals belonging to noble Tuscan families.
The palace was built in the first half of the 16th century by Bartolomeo Lanfranchi. Another palace commissioned later by Alessandro Lanfranchi stands across the Arno river. In 1576, the palace was refurbished after a design by Francesco Mosca.
Lord Byron lived in the palace between 1821 and 1822. From here, the English poet left for Greece, where he died in 1824.
The Toscanelli family bought the palace in 1827. The current appearance of the building dates back to the same 19th century, when Palazzo Toscanelli was renovated by the architect Alessandro Gherardesca.
Giovan Battista Toscanelli and his wife, Angiola Cipriani, lived in the palace, gaining over time a large and prominent art collection. Among the artists in the Toscanelli gallery were Cornelis Bloemaert, Agnolo Bronzino, Pietro Ciafferi, Jacques Courtois, Carlo Dolci, Francesco Fidanza, Károly Markó the Younger, Cornelis van Poelenburgh and Piero Zuccheri.
In the 1830s, many artists were comissioned to decorate the rooms of the palace, of which we can mention Giuseppe Bacchini, Luigi Venturini and Benvenuto Brazzini. The ceilings were frescoed during the 1860s by Nicola Cianfanelli, Gaspero Martellini and Annibale Gatti.
HOW TO GET THERE
The palace is located about 1.3 kilometers away from the Pisa train station, or about 18 minutes on foot. The closest bus station is Mediceo 2, on the bus Lines LAM Verde, 2, 4, 5, 13, 21 and 22, located about 150 meters away.