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San Frediano Mansion is located on the second and third floor of the sixteenth-century building named Palazzo Ramirez-Montalvo.
This late Renaissance palace, built around 1568, is attribuited to the Medici family's architect and sculptor Bartolomeo Ammannati, whereas the ornamental graffito decorations on the facade are reported to be drawn by Giorgio Vasari on the iconographic project of Vincenzo Borghini and were executed by the Vasari apprentices in collaboration with Bernardino Barbatelli known as "Il Poccetti".
The drawings were intended to celebrate the life of the Spanish nobleman Don Antonio Ramirez de Montalvo and his tribute to the Medici family, whose six-balls heraldry can be seen on the facade.
Descendant of an ancient noble dynasty from Arévalo del Rey in Avila Province, and son of Don Juan Ramirez de Montalvo, who served on the Spanish kings' court, Don Antonio, probably born not long after 1500, was a member of the retinue of Eleonora de Toledo, daughter of Pedro de Toledo, Viceroy of the Kingdom of Naples for Emperor Charles V, who married Cosimo I dei Medici , granduke of Tuscany, in 1539.
Don Antonio Ramirez de Montalvo was made chamberlain of the court at Palazzo Pitti, a role of great honour and considerable political importance.
The palace belonged to the Ramirez Montalvo family for the next three centuries up to the last descendant the marquess Giulia de Montalvo, a passionate patriot supporting the democratic principles of the Italian Risorgimento.
Her two sons, Francesco and Ferdinando Matteucci, inherited the palace, which was sold then and split into the present structure which consists of our hotel, the famous "Casa d'aste Pandolfini" and some dwelling houses.
Throughout its history Palazzo Ramirez-Montalvo has been rented only twice: the former to the Catholic prelate Annibale Bentivoglio in 1645, the latter one century later to baron Philipp Stosch, a notorious English government spy in the disguise of an art collector.
Noteworthy the short stay, between 1758 and 1759, of the German archeologist Johan Joachin Winkelmann in order to value the baron Stosch's art collection.