The emotion of living history

The emotion of living history

Since the bronze age, the shepherds of Casentino had travelled through the Appennines to go to Maremma in order
to save their herds during winter months. The roads that lined the river Arno and its affluents (Rassina, Corsalone,
Archiano, Staggia) were the most travelled.

Casentino Valley connected the North to the South and the advance of the Romans as far as the fertile Po valley is a
direct evidence. When the Roman empire collapsed, the Casentino Valley was invaded by Germanic people, who built
castles and fortresses, and Torre Santa Flora is one of their heritage.

Via Maior Romana, the main street/road which started from Arezzo, was considered the best way to go on pilgrimage to
Rome and people had to stop in Subbiano before reaching Arezzo.

The entire building was, at the beginning, a place where people and animals, above all horses, could have a rest,
during their travel along Via Maior Romana. Over the centuries, the central building had been modified and enlarged,
until 1600 when it was turned into a villa that now holds eleven rooms.

It is believed that Torre Santa Flora served a watchtower, it dates back to the Lombard period. Near Via Maior and
Ponte Caliano, the tower allowed people to cross the Arno river, which flows behind it. Today the tower holds four
suites and it is characterized by four different architectonic stages: Lombard, Roman, Medieval and the

The adjoining mill was a Medieval building and it was probably built by Benedictine monks. The first written proof of
the existence of the mill and the tower dates back to 1211, when the building was given to the Santa Flora Abbey.
When this abbey started to decay, the entire estate was sold to some local nobles. In 1648 the owners were the
Palazzeschis’ family, a very well-known surname in Subbiano, which originated around this time. The
Palazzeschis’ and the Subianos’ families followed one another in the possession of the estate and for
this reason in the tower we found both the families’ emblem. The Palazzeschis’ family was represented by
a lion and a bull divided by a pine and surmounted by the Florentine lily. The Subianos’ family was
represented by a lion and a bull divided by a laurel tree. During the XIX century Duccis’ family became the
new owner and they used this building as their country house till the XX century, when it became the residence of
some peasant families.

Since 1992 Torre Santa Flora and Lucilla and the Subbiano palace belong to the Soldinis’ family. Restoration of
the estate began in 1995 and concluded in 2006.