Key to Umbria: Perugia

Florenzi Palaces

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Palazzo Florenzi (early 17th century)


This palace in Via Baglioni belonged to the Florenzi family, who who were given the title of “Marchese” by Pope Pius VI in 1775.  The lovely reliefs on the portal of this palace, which depict branches with flowers, allude to the name of the family.

An inscription in the atrium (pass through the inner doors and look to the left) celebrates the lovely Marianna Florenzi Waddington (1802-70), who lived here in the period 1820-50.  This acclaimed philosopher, who had been one of the first female students at the University of Perugia, moved here on her marriage to Marchese Ettore Florenzi.  He died in 1833.  

Marianna then had a long affair with Crown Prince (later King) Ludwig of Bavaria.   He commissioned a number of portraits of her, including this portrait (1824) by Heinrich Maria Von Hess, which is now in the Neue Pinakothek, Munich.  Her disapproving daughter in law later destroyed some 4,000 letters that he had written to her: many of her letters to him are preserved in the Bavarian archives.  The little street just beyond the palace, Via Struzzo, is named for an ostrich that he gave to her, which was kept in a pensile cage there.

In 1836, Marianna married an Englishman, Evelyn Waddington, who received citizenship of Perugia in 1838 and served as its mayor in 1868-70.  The couple moved to a new palace (below): this one passed to her son, Ludovico Florenzi.

Palazzo Danzetta Florenzi (17th century)

Marianna Florenzi Waddington bought this palace in Largo Ermini from the Danzetta family and moved here after her marriage to  Evelyn Waddington in 1836.  She spent the rest of her life here, dying in 1870.  During this time, she continued here correspondence with Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and welcomed many other intellectuals to her salon.  The palace now belongs to the University of Perugia. 

Via Thorrena Inscription (early 1st century AD)

This fragment of a double-sided Latin inscription, which is now in the Museo Archeologico, was found in a stretch of the Etruscan wall that forms the foundation of the palace.  The part of the inscription that can be constructed from the two sides reads:

C[aius] Fir[mius] Gallus

[duo]vir, viam Thorrenam

ab ara Silvani ad

aream Tlennasis

de sua pec[unia] stravit

et crepidines posuit

This records that the duovir, Caius Firmius Gallus built and paved, at his own expense, a road called Via Thorrena:

  1. from the altar of Silvanus, the Roman god of forests;

  2. to the "aream Tlennasis", which the museum suggests was an area sacred to an Etruscan god of the underworld that was perhaps located in a necropolis.

It is possible that the road that has been excavated in the archeological area under Piazza Cavallotti formed part of Via Thorrena.  The change of the magistracy of Perugia from quattuorviri to duoviri probably occurred during the reconstruction after the Perusine War (40 BC).

Return to Monuments of Perugia.

Return to: Walk II (Palazzo Danzetta Florenzi) or

Walk IV (Palazzo Florenzi).