The Gondi

Warriors, merchants, goldbeaters, bankers. A story that begins in the 8th century.

The Gondi

Ancient Florentine noble family known since the times of Charlemagne. Mayor of the Florentine Republic, bankers and also goldbeaters, traders and ambassadors of the Medici. The ‘Gondi Company’ had offices in Italy, France and Spain, but also in Constantinople and Calcutta. High political positions were held especially in Florence and Naples but important roles were also covered in France with the two queens, Caterina and Maria de Medici.

The Gondi were very close to all the prominent Florentine and French families. For example in Italy, Giuliano Gondi the Elderly married Maddalena di Filippo Strozzi. Elena Gondi known as 'Lena' was the mother of Jacopo Salviati thus son’s mother-in-law of Lorenzo the Magnificent and mother of Maria, Cosimo I and Leone XI mother.

In France, Antonio Gondi master of the palace of the Duke of Anjou, married Marie Catherine de Pierre Vive. He is also famous for financing the voyage of Giovanni da Verrazzano in which the Bay of New York and Florida were discovered. His son Alberto Duke of Retz, was ambassador and marshal of France. He married Claude Catherine de Clermont Dampierre and his son Charles marquis of Belle Île, was the husband of Antoniette d'Orléans-Longueville. Charles was also General of the Galleys just like his brother Filippe Emanuel.

The family coat of arms is ‘two maces in Saint Andrew's cross' in gold field, symbol of the warrior descents. Bears the motto ‘Non Sine Labore’. The Gondi have an ancient title from 1200, the ‘Patrizio Fiorentino’ given by the Florentine Republic. Marquis, but use the ducal crown granted by the King of Naples Alfonso.

Church and Culture

The Gondi have been an important family in the international society. Thanks to the economic position, they have been patrons of great artists. Supported and gave Church well-known personalities like Fra' Marco Gondi, who had his cloths from the hands of Savonarola. In Florence, Cardinal Pietro Gondi followed the works of the Medici chapels with Michelangelo. And in France, Piero Gondi was Bishop of Paris and converted Henry of Navarre, who later became Henry IV.

Pietro Gondi was buried close to his brother Albert, advisor to four French kings, in the Gondi Chapel in the apse of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. Albert's third son, Philippe Emanuel Lord of Villepreux and Count of Joigny, was appointed General Governor of the Galleys. He distinguished himself in undertakings against the Barbary pirates and the siege of La Rochelle. He married Marguerite de Silly and chose as his son's preceptor the man who later became St. Vincent de Paul, founder of the Congregation of the Mission for the rural apostolate among the peasants. When his wife Marguerite died, he became a priest and entered the Congregation of the Oratory of Jesus. His son Jean-François Paul, the famous Cardinal of Retz, took part to the Fronda against Cardinal Mazzarino.

The Gondi have always loved art. Baccio Gondi owned four small tables by Giotto. They were friends of Leonardo da Vinci: he dedicated a drawing of the Codex Atlanticus to Giuliano Gondi, and the Gondi were his testamentary executors. Giuliano also had Giuliano da Sangallo to design his Gondi Palace in Piazza San Firenze and the Gondi Chapel in the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, containing the wooden Christ by Filippo Brunelleschi. The Gondi were patrons of Antonio dal Pollaiolo, Ghirlandaio, Bronzino and had close contacts with Michelangelo.

The Tradition

The Gondi distinguished themselves as warriors and later as merchants, goldbeaters and bankers. Also had important political and ecclesiastical roles both in Italy and France.

At the same time, the Gondi have always had properties in the countryside and a great love and passion for agriculture. In fact, both Tenuta Bossi and Fattoria Volmiano have always been properties at the forefront of production.

A balance between experimenting innovative agricultural techniques while preserving the tradition and philosophy that has always distinguished us: the great faith in the territory that identifies our realities, Tuscany. Here is where the finest products come from, like the Chianti Rufina DOCG wines and Tuscan extra virgin olive oil.

The Gondi, today

Wise farmers and authoritative restorers. The Gondi today distinguish in managing the family historic properties: Gondi Palace, Tenuta Bossi and Fattoria Volmiano. While developing agricultural and tourist activities in these structures, we proudly maintain a vivid knowledge of our centuries-old history.

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