AES 17th Conference
High Quality Audio Coding
1999, September 2nd-5th


Villa Castelletti
Signa (near Florence)

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Villa Castelletti is located:
15 km from the center of Florence
10 km from the center of Prato
6 km from highway A 1 exit "Firenze Signa"
10 km from highway A 1 exit "Firenze Nord"
5 km from highway A 11 exit "Prato Est"
8 km from highway A 11 exit "Prato Ovest"
12 km from Empoli
Location of Villa Castelletti

The origin of the Villa probably dates back to the beginning of the 15th C. The oldest known owners are the Strozzi. It went from Strozzi to the Lapi, from the Uguccione to the Cavalcanti, whose direct branch - that of the poet Guido, Dante's friend - died out in the 18th C. and continued in the hands of the Cattani-Cavalcanti. It was precisely the Cavalcanti family which added another two wings on to the villa main structure, over which a second floor was built, along with the roof-terrace which today is the symbol of Villa Castelletti. In the last century, under the guidance of Count Leopoldo Cattani Cavalcanti, the property underwent an important period and transformed into a model estate. Surely the most significant initiative was the foundation of the Instituto Agrario Filantropico (Philanthrophic Agrarian Institute).
At the end of the 19th C. the Montagliari Counts of German origin by the name of Meyer settled there. The complex today is run by a company which - out of love for the environment and history - brings life into the Villa though cultural initiatives and communication events.
Villa Castelletti
Panoramic view of Villa Castelletti
Located among the hills west of Florence in the midst of a large park with secular trees, its refined Tuscan nature makes Villa Castelletti an ideal site to organize and hold special events.
The 18th C. structure built on a pre-Renaissance facility was finely restored and enhanced through modern architectural integrations which multiplied its space, yet preserved its intimate atmosphere. The guest becomes part of nature´s events in the evocative change of seasons as he goes from spacious halls located in the old, main part of the villa to the restored wine cellar - the "Cantine", and from the conference hall to the large Giardino d´Inverno whose modern glass structure runs from the back of the Villa to the park.
A flexible facility able to host conferences, conventions, fashion shows, exhibits, company meeting and receptions, the Villa will truly make every event a memorable occasion.
Villa Castelletti overlooks a secular park of seven hectares with a charming lake. The ground floor - the "piano nobile" - consists of the following rooms or "Sale": Rossa, Verde, del Capitano and del Teatro. They are styled in the classical 19th C. fashion, with cross vaults and painted wooden caisson ceilings, antique fireplace in pierra serena and flooring in cotto (unglazed quarry tile).
The antique courtyard which faces the park is today the Giardino d´Inverno. Its inestimable structure in cast iron and glass create a functional hall which can host an audience of up to 200 seated people for conferences and conventions. The space enjoys radiant natural light through the large external glass walls. Automatic adjustable panels make it possible to completely darken the area. The Giardino d´Inverno can also host receptions or banquets for up to 550 guests. The "Cantine" floor offers a typically Tuscan atmosphere with barrel vaults where the red color of the cotto and exposed bricks highlight the white walls, making a perfect backdrop for exhibits and shows. This floor is composed of 6 halls, the "F" hall being a conference area equipped to seat 300 people.
Villa Castelletti
Updated: 14.07.99