In the 1400s, Villa Il Ventaglio in Florence was a house that offered the opportunity for pilgrims to stay while on their way to San Domenico in Fiesole from Porta a Pinti. Later, the property passed into the hands of the Bardi and then the Usimbardi, followed by many other families until it was sold in 1824 to the Milanese Count Giuseppe Archinto. The Count hired the architect Giuseppe Poggi to renovate and enlarge the building. The result was a Neoclassical villa, with stables accessible from via delle Forbici. With the collaboration of the gardener and botanist Attilio Pucci, the villa with just mulberry and olive trees was transformed into the Romantic park we see today: lime, elm, horse chestnut and honeyberry trees were planted, creating views and perspectives that make use of the contrast between the large woodlands and the extensive meadows. A characterizing element is the Romantic lake near the entrance, vaunting with a small island and bridge.
The park’s hilly landscape was designed with the potentiality of the views of the city in mind. The property also boasts a spectacular variety of plant life, like maple trees, a Judas tree, a small woodland of oaks, various horse chestnut trees, strawberry trees, and elms. Near the stairs leading to the Italian garden behind the villa, visitors will find a palm tree and several types of roses.