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Villa Schiff Giorgini

Historical Buildings

The splendid 19th century residence now houses the current seat of the city government and numerous cultural events

Villa Schiff Giorgini in Montignoso, surrounded by a lush park, is rich in white marble, making it one of the most beautiful in the area among those open to the public. Illustrious men including Bettino Ricasoli, Massimo D'Azeglio and the famous English writer William Somerset Maugham, one of the leading exponents of English fiction at the turn of the century, rested in the shade of its centuries-old trees.

The history of this Villa is closely linked to the Giorgini family, one of the most illustrious in Montignoso, originally from Lucca. From about 1874, the Villa certainly underwent modifications, evidenced by a drawing recovered in an expense booklet, the precise dating of which is difficult.

Casa Giorgini was, around the middle of the 19th century, frequented by many of the most distinguished people of the time, including Rosmini. In 1893 he retired to Montignoso to his daughter Matilde, where he died in 1908. It was Matilde herself who re-established her residence in Montignoso from the time of her marriage to Roberto Schiff, a German from Frankfurt: in the previous years, in fact, the Villa had been used mainly as a vacation home and not as a proper residence. Matilde intervened on the Villa by renovating and enhancing it, thus contributing to giving it a noble appearance.

From July 1944 to April 1945, German troops stood on the Gothic Line and resisted the Allied advance for nine months. It was during that period that the German Command established itself in the Villa, making it the object of frequent bombardment and leading to its further deterioration. After the withdrawal of the armed forces, the Giorgini family resumed possession of the Villa, giving hand to the restoration of the building in the year 1959.

The ground-floor rooms of Villa Schiff-Giorgini house the Gothic Line Documentation Center, a museum facility that collects images, documents and objects related to the main events of World War II in the territory of the Apuan Riviera and Versilia.

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