The Villa has very ancient origins, belonging first to the Alberti family, then to the Bardi family, one of the Florentine families also related to the Medici family, and finally to the Guicciardini family from which it takes its name.

The Alberti, already counts of Prato, also had vast possessions in the Val di Bisenzio, as evidenced by the famous Rocca Cerbaia, which, however, were sold to the Florentine Bardi family in the 12th century.
In the early nineteenth century the assets of the villa and its annexes passed to the Guicciardini.
The fact is that they were transferred by inheritance, in fact the last owner of the Bardi family was Count Piermaria, who was cavalier servant and personal adviser of woman Caterina Bartolommei, consort of Count Lorenzo Guicciardini, to whose children Francesco and Ferdinando, in fact, Bardi bequeathed these assets.
Subsequently, in an act of division, the Usella complex was assigned to Ferdinando Guicciardini, then passed first to his son Carlo, and finally to the son of these, who again assumed the name of Ferdinando and who was the author of the great transformation works of the same at the end of the nineteenth century.

Its management and the quality of its crops had become an excellence of the area and its interests also expanded towards real productive activities.

Among the possessions of the farm there is also a mill, located in its vicinity, near the Bisenzio, which at the time of the nascent industry of Prato, in the late nineteenth century, was also flanked by a small activity related to textile production.

Another important production activity linked to the farm was that linked to the presence of a brick kiln, certainly already present in the Bardi management period, but considerably expanded in the period of the great transformations attributable to the Guicciardini.

In some artifacts of the villa itself, some brick tiles can still be found, from the original design on which the inscription "Fornace di Usella - Guicciardini" is imprinted.


Around the furnace, a small village had already been formed in ancient times, probably inhabited by the workers of the same or in any case on the farm, and even a shop, called the "furnace", built along the Strada Maestra.

It is precisely because of this direct connection that a long avenue branched off from the central body of the farm which ended with a gate that led to a donkey-back bridge over the Migliana stream and which connected the farm to the village.


The central core of the farm was constituted, at least until the last decade of the nineteenth century, as a massive horseshoe-shaped body, around which extended a large semi-flat land mainly for vegetable use. Of the internal changes we can only detect those on the ground floor, which shows the transformation of the farm environments into houses, and above all the formation of the small chapel that still exists today. Having no comparison of the upper floors, for the moment we can only assume that they too were objects of transformation, as shown by the elegant decorated coffered ceilings on the first floor, while the upper one, as usual, appears more spartan as probably intended for servitude.

IThe clock on the crowning of the facade is also extremely interesting, the mechanism of which is housed in a compartment which is accessed from the attic floor. As an incision above the clock frame attests, this was built by the watchmaker Egisto di Domenico Cavina di Modigliana in 1862, therefore well before the renovation of the wing of the complex in the villa and therefore probably from a previous location. The mechanism is connected with an external bell that scans the sound every 12 hours.
The most radical transformation however concerned the facade of this wing, which thus became the main one of the villa, built in a moderate eighteenth-century Baroque style.

These works in the eastern part of the complex, however, had repercussions in all its arrangement, which involved the transformation of the previous grain warehouses into stables of the new manor house.

The most obvious feature of this transformation is still the relative facade, this time treated with a neoclassical style. In front of the long side of the complex, on the side of the stables, a new building was then built, probably hosting stables and barns that had access from an avenue that started parallel to it from the main road.

The close relevance of the original farm complex has always been, as still today, the one enclosed within the stone boundary wall..

With the partial transformation of the farm complex into a villa, the garden in front of it was probably transformed, and integrated with a new portion of an Italian garden, with geometric designs of the flower beds, water basins and wooden bridges.

The project of the same is ascribed to Piero Berti, commissioned by the same count Guicciardini around 1890.
On the western border of the complex, in ancient times there was already a basin of water fed by the Migliana ditch, which served both as a nursery and for feeding the fountains and pools in the park.

During the renovation of the late nineteenth century, with the construction of the new oil mill, between this and the nursery tank, a second tank was built, used as a margin for the activation of the small screens of the relative mill.

Between the two tanks, located on a higher level, and the garden of the villa, annexes were built for the storage of tools and above all as a lemon house, for the winter storage of the numerous citrus fruits in pots that were scattered in the park.
This area and the front garden were then connected by a pergola walkway, and adorned with vine shoots and climbing roses, connected near the Italian garden, by a small fountain with lateral stone seats and a gazebo with creepers.


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