The historical heritage | Il Borro

The historical heritage

History, culture
and tradition

A family
passion

As Ferruccio loves to say “this is a timeless act of faith” that started in 1993, when together with his family, he brought the century-old Borro hamlet back to life by promoting the history, the traditions and excellencies. Authenticity, respect for the environment, culture and enhancement of the local expertise are Il Borro’s pillars of sustainable philosophy which underlie each choice.

The history

Il Borro owes its notoriety to several things: first of all, to its architecture and to the conformation of the area where the hamlet is located and then to the important families of the past to which it was historically bound.

The history of Il Borro most likely dates back to Roman times. It is believed that where the hamlet is found today there was originally a stronghold. During the medieval times, this area in the high Valdarno was a place which witnessed the many clashes that took place between the city of Arezzo and that of Florence.

The first written account of the Castle dates back to the year 1254 when a Milanese nobleman, the Marquis Borro Borri, purchased the property from the Mascagni family.

After years of harsh battles between Guelf Florence and Ghibelline Arezzo who fought for centuries for control of the stronghold, the Florentines conquered Arezzo. Having conquered the Ghibelline city, the Florentines took back all the castles and villas found in the municipality and in the rural area of Arezzo. In 1384 even Il Borro castle fell under Florentine domination and the Castle was returned to the Dal Borro family when the Archduke Ferdinand granted it as a fief to General Alessandro del Borro (October 4, 1644). Thanks to him, the XVI marks the start of the first transformations and extensions of the stronghold which slowly led to today’s context.

In the 18th century, Il Borro and the lands were purchased by the Medici Tornaquinci family who retained ownership until 1823 at which time Il Borro estate was passed over to Count Giuseppe Della Torre Hoffer Valsassina.

In keeping with the fashion of the time, the Hohenlohe family built a stately home of brick and stone right over the ruins of an ancient dwelling. Besides the castle which today sits surrounded by vegetation, the Medici Tornaquinci also erected a small chapel as a sign of their presence at Il Borro.

When it was sold to the Prince Emanuele Filiberto, Duke of Aosta, in 1903, the farm estate was comprised of some 50 farms and covered over 1000 hectares. Duke Amedeo inherited Il Borro from the Savoia Aosta family who had to reconvert the estate as well as all other Tuscan farms due to a period of crisis involving the century old method of sharecropping.

In 1993, Il Borro became the property of the Ferragamo family which had fallen in love with the wild nature of the area and the history of the estate. Respect for the traditions and the history of the place guided the family as they began major renovations and restoration of the hamlet and the villas.

Restoration

Restoration of the ancient structures of Il Borro which at the time of purchase still bore the signs of World War Two required the work of artisans and local craftsmen in order to maintain the allure of the past. This entailed an ongoing commitment in terms of maintenance and restoration of the ruins in order to contribute to the quality of the countryside. The vast restoration activity further enhanced the environmental heritage which also achieved recognition from the local authorities.
Restoration

Local culture and tradition

Today this small Tuscan hamlet, born over 1000 years ago, is a place where artists, artisans and visitors share the beauty, the style and the quality of life that made Tuscany one of the most loved destinations by visitors from all over the world. Drawing inspiration from the ancient crafts and trades that once existed at Il Borro in medieval times, the local shops of shoemakers, goldsmiths, restorers have once again opened their doors and go about their activities with love and expertise.
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