La Storia


In 1699 the Carletti family were elevated to the first ranks of the Montepulciano nobility, through Messer Francesco Xaverio. His son, Mariotto Carletti, was given the personal title of Count Palatine by Pope Clement XII, in a Papal Brief of 11th December 1733. In January 1762, the family was included in the Montepulciano Golden Book of Nobles.

The family’s coat of arms is an or bend on an azure field, with a six-pointed or star in chief and an argent waxing half-moon in base. Their place of residence is Montepulciano.

The most famous member of the Carletti family has to be Count Francesco Saverio, who, at the end of the 18th century, negotiated with the French Directoire and signed the resulting peace and friendship agreement between the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and France. A great lover of life, careerist and pleasure seeker, he was always in pursuit of high-placed friendships, such as with the Countess of Albany, and dispensing favours, such as to his friend Vittorio Alfieri. He met with great fame … and with a great downfall - fleeing and losing most of his wealth, having dared too much at the complex playing table of the European politics of his time. Though it seems a parable, it is a true story of the ups and downs of life ... and a very Italian story!

At the end of the 19th century, on 10th September 1888 to be precise, the palazzo passed into the Nerazzini family, as Egle Carletti married Cesare Nerazzini. A doctor and a diplomat, who lived the last years of his life in the palazzo, he was an incredible character. Almost a century after Count Francesco Saverio, he negotiated the peace treaty with the Negus following the dramatic, bloody battle of Adwa won by the Ethiopians against the Italians.

In a way Cesare Nerazzini represents another variant of the Italian character. A fine scholar and an avid traveller, keen to encounter new people and learn about far away seas and lands, he quite certainly was one of the major Italian experts of African cultures of his times, and he ended his career as Italian Consul in Shanghai. A complex character, as a doctor he certainly was a lover of mankind (he promoted the first attempt to develop a sanitary system in the Italian areas of influence), at the same time he was immersed in all the contradictions and the horrors of the colonial period, even though he was one of the few with the means to analyse and judge the events around him.

In the 1930s the palazzo was divided up and the piano nobile transformed into offices, which first housed the Consorzio di Bonifica della Val di Chiana. The land reclamation - Bonifica - of the Val di Chiana was one of the most complex in Italy; it has a long history going back to the Etruscans, Leonardo da Vinci’s projects, and many an attempts to dry the marshes throughout the 18th, 19th and finally 20th century. Further to the completion of the reclamation, the piano nobile of Palazzo Carletti became the seat of the Italian Communist Party in Montepulciano.

In 2008, the piano nobile underwent maintenance work. That is when the frescoes and original paintings, hidden for decades behind false ceilings and long forgotten, were rediscovered. These frescoes can be attributed to Pozzo and his collaborators, who did many works in Montepulciano and the surrounding areas. A decision was then made to restore the apartments to their original splendour. Using procedures and materials respectful of the history and local traditions, the bedrooms and drawing room - one of the rare examples of a drawing room this size (10x8m with a ceiling height of 6.2m) completely painted and frescoed - underwent a complete restoration.

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