The history of Bencistà
During the first half of the 14th century this villa belonged to a famous
Florentine named Bartolomeo di Niccolò.
It was later owned by Bartolomeo di Filippo Valori, who was closely
connected to the Medici family. He acted as commissioner to Pope Clemente
VII during the siege of Florence in 1530. Valori was made a Senator by
Alexander de’ Medici, but as a reaction to the Duke’s infamy, he joined
forces with those fighting for freedom in Montemurlo. On the 20th August 1537
Valori was beheaded and his possessions were confiscated by Cosimo I.
The villa which was then known as «Villa del Morone» was sold in 1542 to
one of the most faithful supporters of the Medici family, Bishop Raffaello
Minerbetti. It was given the name Bencistà. In the following century it came
into the possession of the Ficiati family. In 1759 it belonged to the Sisters of
St. Anne of the Fields and was used as a convent for about 150 years.
The oldest parts of the house are the hall and the tower.
Later the house was bought by a succession of people until, in 1925, Pietro
Simoni bought it from the son of the Swiss painter Arnold Böcklin. It was the
Simoni family who converted it to a guest house and built extensions.
At present, Pensione Bencistà is a «limited company» managed by Simone
and Carla Simoni, together with their youngest daughter, Beatrice with the help
of her husband Daniele; and her elder sister, Chiara, when her role as a doctor
permits her to dedicate some time do so. In addition, Beatrice and Daniele’s
two children Giulio and Maria and Chiara’s four children - Pietro, Anna,
Laura, and Elena - lend a helping hand whenever their study and free-time
commitments permit. The future of Pensione Bencistà is ultimately in the handsof the fifth generation.