Villa di Papiano
Inside a garden with remarkable specimens of forest-trees, there is, majestic and elegant, the Villa dell’Americana (Villa of the American), a XVI century building, belonged to the rich and powerful Torrigiani family. The building was subsequently modified at the end of the nineteenth century, drawing on the neo-Renaissance architectural style – a very popular style in that period, of the then owner’s will, the American Laura Merrick.
The noblewoman, descendant from the Princes of Wales, was born in Philadelphia in 1842 and she moved to Lamporecchio after she met Emilio Torrigiani and through him she bought Villa di Papiano. The lady helped a lot the population of the little village, for instance she gave the funds for the restoration of the church of Santo Stefano in Lamporecchio, enlarged the lands of her property and gave work to a lot of citizens. In 1911 she established a school of laces and female jobs with the purpose to introduce in Italy a subsidiary industry for women who didn’t have a permanent job. The school gained a great success in our territory especially because it was introduced in an area where these activities were already known and practised.
The villa, a solid but elegant building which has got also a basement, big cellars and many places of service, develops on three floors. It ends with an overbuilt floor made up of a lovely portico open on all sides and regularly marked by round arches leaning against slim columns. Inside the clothes belonged to the American noblewoman are still preserved.