The Rosselmini villa was born as a summer home of the ancient Pisan family of Conti Rosselmini who lived in the Rosselmini palace in via Santa Maria in Pisa during the winter and moved to Calci on summer holidays. The villa's foundations date back to the 1500s, but in the following centuries the villa had many modifications and extensions. Probably the chapel was initially detached from the central body of the villa, presumably added in the eighteenth century with the aim to create an internal connection between the villa and the chapel. In the eighteenth century, according to the fashion of the period the interiors of the villa were softened from numerous frescoes by the same artists who were called to Calci to embellish the Certosa. And waiting for the frescoes of the Certosa to dry, the same artists willingly accepted some commission in the nearby villas.
The last descendant of the Rosselmini family was Countess Laura who in 1921 married the Marquis Giuseppe Mazzarosa Devincenzi and moved to live in the Mazzarosa palace in Lucca. In order not to leave the villa abandoned, the Marquess Laura, who was very pious, religious and above all very generous, let it to the nuns who soon transformed the villa into a orphanage. On the ground floor the rooms were emptied and transformed into a refectory, kitchens and study rooms and on the upper floor together with all the rooms were used as dormitories for the orphans.
The Marchesa Laura kept only some rooms of the wing of the villa which connects to the chapel and used to come here to spend a few days in the summer, perhaps to remember with nostalgia the good times when she lived in the villa with her parents and her brothers; those who in fact tragically died quite young.
The M.se Pietro, who inherited the villa after the death of M.sa Laura in 1964, donated the Villa (in the meantime restored) to his son Antonio Mazzarosa born in 1956, and who is still the owner today. The nuns in the meantime were less numerous but much older and due also to the falling number of abandoned children, decided to close the orphanage and to give back the villa to the owners. The villa was then rented to the Tuscany Region, which used it for a decade for a number of training courses. But at the end of the 80s the Region also left the Villa and returned it to the owner in a pitiful state. Any use that the owner wanted to make of it required urgent restoring. The owner restored the villa, with the intention to come to live there with his family.
As soon as the villa was livable, the young family of the Marquis Antonio Mazzarosa Devincenzi moved in. Initially, the villa was empty. With much patience and good will, the villa was furnished, one room after another. Then a solution was sought to make it economically independent. In order to do this, little by little the annexes of the villa were also restored with the intention to rent them out as agrituristic homes. This new activity imposed new priorities: to be able to carry on the agriturismo activity it was necessary to build a swimming pool, and make the garden more attractive. Thanks to the discovery of old vintage photographs, we tried to give the garden its original look. We have thus recreated the central flower bed with its circular driveway. Even the plants of the grove, which had suffered long years of neglect, were reinvigorated though a drastic pruning in 1993.
We enjoyed to plant magnolias, holm oaks, mimosas for every child born. Plants that now have the age of my children: 21, 20 and 16 years. We planted several fruit plants from the nineteenth century like pomegranate, cherry, melocotogno, walnut and many aromatic plants to be able to make a domestic use of them. However, we tried to plant some flowering plants so we could decorate the house with beautiful bouquets from our garden. And thanks to the modern and robust oleander the garden throughout the summer gives us a nice stain of color. Now the garden grows with us, according to our needs and just like as it has something ancient, traditional, elegant I hope , and natural ... but nothing pretentious.
Our thanks go to our grandmother Laura for having left us her home. I like to think that grandmother Laura from heaven is pleased with our commitment to keep her home, of which we are jealous guardians and lucky inhabitants.
I hope these anecdotes have entertained you and that you enjoyed your visit.