Yesterday, we visited the Casa Martelli. The Martelli's were quite rich and powerful in Florentine history for approximately 500 years (the last member dying in 1986). They first made money in the wool guilds, later on becoming silk merchants.Their house (on via Zanetti) is only two blocks from the Duomo, but the family at one time owned a lot of property in the area. The Martelli's had developed close ties with the Medici family from the time of Cosmos the Elder, with Carmilla Martelli later becoming the second wife of Cosmos I. Like the Medici's, the Martelli's were great art lovers and collectors, hiring Donotello as their primary sculptor ( he created the Martelli Coat of Arms depicted in the first picture). As can be seen in the following pictures, they adorned their home with various forms of art, including the Michaelangelo bathtub depicted in the last picture ( the three rings on the tub were considered Michaelangelo's signature, indicating his work in marble, painting, and wood). Interestingly, this tub is situated in a room they called their "...winter garden" as the walls were decorated with flowers and vines, while the floor was covered in sand and small stones, as if on a beach.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.