Salvatore Leggiero is a real estate dealer in Florence, who describes himself in these words:
I ACQUIRE, MANAGE AND DEVELOP OLD HISTORIC BUILDINGS, GIVING THEM NEW VALUE. MY SHAREHOLDERS AND INVESTORS KNOW THAT OUR CLIENTS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD WILL ALWAYS ACQUIRE THE ITALIAN GREAT BEAUTY.
Pupil and loyal friend of Marcello Dell’Utri – a gentleman currently serving a prison sentence for “complicity in conspiracy with the Mafia” – Leggiero started out as an encyclopedia salesman and today, by a cultural miracle, has become President of the Florentine Chamber Orchestra.
Salvatore Leggiero is well known for the many palazzi he has bought in Florence, with the pennies he saved selling his encyclopedias, from Hotel Majestic to the House of Annalena, from Palazzo Buondelmonti to Palazzo Ricasoli.
One of these is Palazzo Santarelli in Via della Chiesa 44-46-48-50, in Oltrarno.
An area donated by the American Red Cross to the people of the district in 1920, for ninety years the hub of local life with its kindergarten, playground and much else. The children were booted out in 2012 and the building and its garden were turned into luxury flats and a parking lot, at least according to Leggiero’s brochures.
In this picture we see Salvatore Leggiero with his spiritual teacher Roberto Re uncorking a bottle of Dom Perignon to celebrate the decision taken by the city council of Florence, in spring 2015, to remove restrictions on the “development” of Palazzo Santarelli.
Leggiero tells the story like a fairy tale:
I TRANSFORM PROPERTIES
Palazzo Santarelli, 46 via della Chiesa
FROM PUMPKIN TO CARRIAGE
Now, how is this fairy tale building really?
When you come in from Via della Chiesa, a friendly damp spot welcomes you.
The banister starts to wobble and then dance as soon as you touch it.
A thick layer of red dust covers handrail and stairs.
Something quite normal in a construction site, but work there finished three years ago. Those who bought a flat there (“We trust in the “square meter of quality” explains Leggiero’s brochure about Palazzo Santarelli) have paid and, well, that’s it.
As Leggiero’s brochure puts it, they can now enjoy “the best available technology and Italian design.”
Wires mostly dangle lazily,
but now and then one of them gets a bit over-excited
luckily not too close to the gas pipes
maybe thanks to intervention by the Madonna protecting those bold enough to walk up the stairs.
The door of the lift resembles a modern art installation more than a carriage.
Connoisseurs will not fail to appreciate the elegant black bin liner flap at the base:
Those who actually have a carriage can enter through this majestic gateway from Via d’Ardiglione.
Which offers several friendly corners for the mice pulling the pumpkin:
Well, even if it has not become a carriage, the pumpkin where children once played has been transformed, no doubt of that.