On the 6th March residents in Barga Vecchia noticed that one of the steps leading down from the Museum of Memory had been damaged during the night.
The culprit was a large section of stone which has fallen during the night from the wall of the Palazzo Balduni.
This morning workmen were checking the whole front wall of the palazzo making sure that there were not other loose pieces of masonary in danger of falling into the piazza below (once again)
The palazzo was the home of the Nuns of Barga up until 2013 (article here) when the remaining nuns left Barga for good after 101 years in a presence in the city, the Convent was then shut and the remaining nuns returned to Casaletto in Rome.
Some history of the Palazzo Balduini
On either side of the piazza Garibaldi there are two passageways which lead down towards the Via della Fontana. Facing onto the piazza itself is one of the most beautiful of all the buildings in the historic town centre, the Palazzo Balduini, built by the Barghigiano, Balduino Balduini in the second half of the 16th Century.
Balduini was the chief physician for Cardinal Del Monte who later became Pope Julius III, and who in 1554, nominated Balduini as Bishop of Aversa. It should be noted that this Balduini is not the same as the one mentioned elsewhere in this guide.
Unfortunately this beautiful palazzo was heavily bombed during the last war and only its outer walls remained standing, but the imprint of the Medici can still be seen in the stone Medici crest which is attached to the facade of the building. On the corner of the building there is a crest, also in stone, of Bishop Balduino.
This palazzo is the property of the Sisters of the Order of Suore Giuseppine di Chambéry, who used to run a nursery school there (article with many images of the Nuns here) , and beyond this the Museum of Memory which grew out of the ruins of buildings destroyed during the last war when Barga was for many months on the front of the Gothic Line.
Since the first half of the 14th century, Barga Castle has represented the oldest most northerly outpost of the Florentine. This close relationship with Florence is widely seen by the strong influence that the city exerted on Barghigiano buildings.
In addition to a direct drive through which the “capital” promoted public construction sites in the mid 16th century, it was met with considerable interest by private individuals who went ahead with building their own homes following the tastes that had matured in Florence beginning with the 15th century experiences of Leon Battista Alberti.
This is how the most important Barga families acquired homes that recall the prestigious Florentine palaces in terms of the organisation of their interiors and the layout of the external facades.
Modernisation of the town walls got underway in 1526 and the building work of the first buildings of clear Florentine inspiration began halfway through the century.
Palazzo Balduini was the first, so loyal to the Mannerist modules to make you think that architects from Florence were directly involved, characterised by kneeling windows similar to those in the Florentine Palazzo Grifoni, designed by Ammannati.