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Via di Vicano, 4 Loc. Massolina 50060 Pelago (FIRENZE) Italia

Mon - Fri 9:00 AM- 07:00 PM (GMT+1)


Cosimo Ridolfi Palace

Period of the monument: Early XV century

Supervision: Superintendence of Florence

Place: Historical center of Florence

Year of restoration: 2020

Category of works: OS2-A and OG2

Client: Private

Work performed: Cleaning consolidation and restoration of facades with graffito decorated plasters and stone parts, rebuilding of the roof.


The palace in Via Maggio n.15 was built in the early fifteenth century; in 1483 it was bought by Niccolò Ridolfi – grandson of Lorenzo Ridolfi who was a well-known jurist, Proconsul of the Art of Wool, Gonfalonier of Justice and professor of Canon Law at the Studio Fiorentino. All of Niccolò Ridolfi’s properties, including the palazzo in Via Maggio 15, were confiscated in 1497, when he was accused of treason and beheaded in the courtyard of the Bargello for having participated in Bernardo del Nero’s conspiracy in favor of the Medici. When the Medici returned to Florence in 1512 the palace was handed over to Piero (son of Niccolò) husband of Contessina, daughter of Lorenzo il Magnifico. Piero affixed the coat of arms of the Medici and the Ridolfi on the door, which can still be seen, while at the top of the first order there is the coat of arms of the Ridolfi di Piazza. Senator Marquis Cosimo Ridolfi Lorenzo Ridolfi was born, lived and died (1794-1865) in this palace. He was an illustrious agronomist, patriot, distinguished and enlightened philanthropist, active president of the Accademia dei Georgofili and founder of a rural school in his farm of Meleto in Val d’Elsa. He was Minister both in the last period of the Grand Duchy and in the first years of the Kingdom.


The facade is characterized by large windows and a large portal, typical of the sixteenth century, made with rusticated stone. The graffiti in the plasterwork are from a later period. At the top of the facade there is the Ridolfi coat of arms. Above the portal of the ground floor there is a marble slab in memory of Senator Cosimo Ridolfi. The three openings of the ground floor are closed by means of doors of which, the one corresponding to the entrance is of era while the other two were placed in 1968.

The stone surface presented typical degradation characteristic of this type of material, exposed to the external environment: deposit of coherent and incoherent dirt, black crusts, areas of rainwater runoff, lifting and detachment of the material.
The interventions on the stone material were also dedicated to the restoration of the bas-relief with the coat of arms of the Ridolfi family, made of pietra forte, and on the commemorative plaque made of white marble, which was very dirty and so washed away on the surface that the engraved inscription was illegible.
The façade of the first and second floor, decorated with a false ashlar made with the graffito technique, showed in some points plaster detachments, swellings, lacks, efflorescence and chromatic alteration: the perimetric decoration with vegetal elements and the one imitating the ashlar showed a thick superficial repainting.
The wooden elements (eaves and parsiane) also showed detachments and disintegration of the material.


First stratigraphic essays and non-invasive investigations were carried out to identify exactly the materials and techniques to be used to protect the authenticity of the building and to produce a restoration consistent with the context.

The restoration work was carried out on both stone surfaces and plaster, without tampering with the wooden elements.






Cosimo Ridolfi Palace, Via Maggio, Florence
  • Manual cleaning with dry and water solution, subsequent mechanical removal of deposits and final rinsing.
  • Consolidation of the plaster in areas that are in a state of advanced degradation, before cleaning to avoid further damage and disinfection and disinfestation of colonies of microorganisms. Removal of plastering and patching of rough plaster or floral motifs made during previous restoration work. Adhesion between the wall support and plaster was restored.
  • Grouting of cracks and gaps in pictorial plaster after consolidation work using the same aggregates and binders as the original.
  • General pictorial restoration with the recovery of colors and refurbishment of missing parts. Through the technique of dusting and graffito,forms and colors identical to the original were achieved.


Cosimo Ridolfi Palace, Via Maggio, Florence
  • Manual cleaning by means of a saturated solution of water and ammonium carbonate, if necessary with a compress technique, subsequent mechanical removal of deposits and final rinsing.
  • Structural consolidation, re-adhesion and filling of the parts subject to detachment by means of stainless steel or fiberglass pins and resin injection.
  • Grouting of lesions and joints with appropriate mixture of color and grain size for lime and ground stone in imitation of what was currently present.
  • Final protective treatment.


Cosimo Ridolfi Palace, Via Maggio, Florence
  • Verification of the working conditions.
  • Washing with water and lye and final rinse.
  • Small carpentry works where necessary and revision of the hardware and treatment of such.
  • Grouting where necessary with glue and wood pulp.
  • Enamel painting with two or more coats of satin enamel after application of a suitable primer.