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The salon of Sophie Caudeiron at Palazzo Lanfranchi in Pisa

Pisa, Palazzo Lanfranchi
Pisa, Palazzo Lanfranchi

During the Napoleonic period, a few palazzos in Pisa became privileged theatres for the society life of the city. Among these, a leading role was certainly played by the Palazzo Lanfranchi, the beautiful palazzo facing the Arno across the river from the Monastery of San Matteo.
The building, which takes its name from the noble Pisan family that built it in its current form starting in 1539, was acquired by the Vaccà Berlinghieri family, one of the most important in Pisa during the Napoleonic period. And so Andrea Vaccà Berlinghieri, geriatrician of Elisa Baciocchi, resided there, along with his wife, Sophie Caudeiron, the widow of his brother, Leopoldo.
The beautiful Sophie, a Frenchwoman who became a part of the Vaccà Berlnghieri family at the end of the eighteenth century, animated one of the most lively salons in the city and was a leading light in the cultural and social life of Pisa, even during the Restoration years. At the Palazzo Lanfranchi, she hosted poets, writers, politicians, men of culture and noble aristocrats. In particular, among her illustrious guests one should recall the Shelleys and, in 1830, Mario Felice Francesco Giuseppe Baciocchi (1803–1866), nephew of the Grand Duchess Élisa, accompanied by his wife Maria Teresa Pozzo di Borgo and their daughter Anna.
Palazzo Lanfranchi, after major restoration work promoted by the Municipality of Pisa (owner of the property since 1952) and implemented at the end of the 1970s by architect Massimo Carmassi, has since 2007 housed the Museo della Grafica, which conserves and displays the extraordinary collection of works from the Prints and Drawings Collection of the University’s History of Art Department, a collection of graphic works from the nineteenth and twentieth century among the most important in Italy and Europe, founded in 1957 on the initiative of Carlo Ludovico Ragghianti.

Palazzo Lanfranchi
Museo della Grafica
Lungarno Galilei 9