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Our History

In 1258, at the height of the Guelfi-Ghibellini conflict, the Florentines punished the hated Ghibellini family of the Uberti by destroying their center city property and vowing to leave the area forever unbuilt as a grim reminder to future rebels and also because they felt that terrain was cursed. For a generation the Platea Ubertorum or Piazza degli Uberti served little other than this symbolic purpose, but with time, it became an increasingly irritating waste of land to Florentines caught up in new conclicts. The siting of the Palazo Vecchio at the south boundary of the Uberti land solved the dilemma, putting the terrain to good use without actually building on it.

The verb "garbare" is typical of the Florentine dialect. It is used to indicate something or someone who really likes, which arouses great pleasure.
It is hypothesized that its etymology is linked to the Florence of the Arts and Crafts. In fact, the current Via Condotta in the past was called via del Garbo, and here the shops of the affiliates of the Wool Guild were concentrated, in particular of the artisans who produced the most elegant and expensive clothes, those that were appreciated and sold throughout Europe.

Via del Garbo is a portion of that street commonly called Via della Condotta, because in the houses of Tosa, confined to the abbey of the abbey, the Officials of the Conduct resident, who hired the infantry, and sold the soldiers in the service of the Republic.

To this family belonged the famous Dino Del Grbo one of the most learned doctors who taught medicine in Bologna, Siena, Florence. A friend of the Orragna, he portrayed him among the good ones in the Last Judgment that he painted in S. Croce. He died about 1327 and was buried in S. Croce.
I can not ascertain that this Del Garbo family belonged to the painter Raffaellino, who flourished in the late fifteenth century. Scolari di Filippo Lippi studied his fatherland in Florence, but then he worked a lot in Rome, where he was nicknamed Raffaellino to distinguish him from Raffaello d'Urbino. He died in Florence in 1524, and was buried in S. Simone.

The Del Garbo became extinct in Cavaliere Tommaso di Francesco died March 24, 1732 and the Servelli and then the Mozzi inherited the name and assets.

Garbo means, according to the Crusca, recklessness, gracefulness; the man of grace is the good man; the polite is full of grace, and of greed. The etymologists studied a lot to find the origin of this word; but looking for them too far, they were mistaken. Ferrari and Menagio derive from foreign languages; Salvini from grate for metathesis, or transposition of letters. There was only Monosini, who guessed it, as it was easy, being a pure and Florentine voice. I translate his words: I am in Florence two places, one of which to be dedicated to St. Martin a Church, is called San martino; the other (not very didtante) from the surname of a family is called the Garbo. The name Panno S. Martino, and Panno Garbo, were there, as they were in both places, cloth factories.

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Casa del Garbo

Piazza della Signoria, 8 - 50122 Florence - Italy

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