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

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



5 star Hotel of the UNA chain – Hotels & Resorts: www.villalemaschere.it

Period of the monument: XVI century

Location: Barberino di Mugello – Florence

Year of restoration: from 2004 to 2009

Work category: OS2-A

Client: Baldassini – Tognozzi – Pontello Costruzioni Generali Spa

Supervision: Superintendence for Architectural and Environmental Heritage of Florence

Work performed: Total restoration of facades (ancient plasters, stuccoes, stone elements); total restoration of interiors (stuccoes, frescoes, plasters, wall paintings, ceramics, stone elements)


Villa Le Maschere, so called because of the twenty-two masks in pietra serena, classical and grotesque stone that decorate the facade, was built in the second half of the 1500s by the Bettini family. At the beginning of the seventeenth century it was purchased by the Florentine family Gerini, who began interventions of expansion and renovation, and reorganized the park with avenues and Italian style garden. Giovanni Battista Foggini, sculptor and court architect of the Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo III de’ Medici, left his artistic signature on Villa Le Maschere at the end of the 17th century. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, already considered one of the most beautiful villas in Tuscany, Villa Le Maschere hosted popes (Pius IX in 1857), royalty (Carlo Emanuele IV King of Sardinia in 1801, King Carlo Felice in 1821), nobles, and artists, who made it the scene of memorable parties. At the beginning of the 1900s, the Villa was equipped with bathrooms on every floor, some decorated with the famous ceramics of the nearby Manifattura Chini of Borgo San Lorenzo.



The restoration of the Villa involved the building as a whole, given the situation of advanced degradation, and in particular we intervened on normal and rough plasters, stucco decorations, pictorial decorations, stone portions of windows and portals and stone decorations, with the aim of healing and balancing the decorative surfaces of the environment in order to return to a coherent overall view. The main causes of degradation were attributed to the action of time, rising dampness and above all infiltration on the wall surfaces due to various collapses of the roofs.



  • Survey and complete mapping of the plastered walls (internal and external)
  • Mapping and diagnosis of the state of deterioration of the stucco, stone, and pictorial decorations, and study of targeted intervention methodologies
  • Blockage and securing of the parts subject to detachment through injections of special mortar after protection plastering of all areas at risk of falling off through the application of Japanese paper (in the case of decorations)
  • Masonry cleaning with specific techniques that delay the growth of lichens and molds
  • Consolidation interventions on the large parts through injections of mortar of natural calcium free from efflorescent salts
  • Plastering and reconstruction where parts were missing by mixtures of lime and aggregates
  • Cleaning, consolidation and integration of degraded pictorial decorations
  • Finishing operations aimed at a final result as similar as possible to the original, both in materials and colors.






Villa Le Maschere

The Villa had several decorative stone elements, especially in sandstone and pietra serena, including cornices, windows, coats of arms, statues, and the famous masks. These elements were in a state of advanced degradation, with disintegration and erosion, detachment and flaking. Numerous targeted interventions were performed including:

  • Control and hinging with fiberglass or steel bars of all parts subject to detachment so much as to fear loss or breakage during the next cleaning phase (with specific products and brushing with brushes of different softness)
  • Grouting of cracks, detachments, and holes was performed with the “shoe” technique and subsequent doweling
  • Chromatic revision of the new parts with watercolors of lime or silicates properly pigmented and a final aging patina


Villa Le Maschere

The frescoes present in the villa were very degraded in some cases, so much so that in some points a complete recovery of the surfaces was not possible. Here are some of the techniques used for their restoration:

  • Pre-consolidation of the pictorial film, followed by superficial glazing with thin gauze and specific products and punctual consolidation of the curl/support layer by injections of mortars and products from the edges, cracks and pre-existing holes.
  • Cleaning with “wishab” sponges, after sampling in order to verify the colorfastness
  • Reattachment of the detached portions to the support with the us of controlled pressure braces, after removal of deposits from the backsides with long pliers and small vacuum cleaners
  • Integration of pictorial gaps and abrasions through glazing and lowering of tone with mineral pigments in powder form.