The executive offices and showroom, the studio of the brand’s founder, Wanny Di Filippo, and his amazing bison museum are all located within just a few steps from each other, inside a single block designed by the majestic shape of Palazzo Corsini. It’s the same place where Il Bisonte started as an artisanal workshop fifty years ago.
The showroom and offices are located on the second floor of the building, one of the city’s most opulent private palaces. From the windows overlooking the Oltrarno, Cestello church, the Abbey of San Miniato, Forte Belvedere and the Boboli Gardens, one can admire the splendor of Florence’s historic center.
The second floor can still be accessed by the building’s spiral staircase, a true masterpiece of Baroque architecture.
Wanny’s studio and the bison museum can be reached by crossing the large internal courtyard.
Finally, the shop overlooks the austere Via del Parione which connects Piazza Goldoni to Via Tornabuoni, the route favored by the most prestigious international luxury brands. The store, which is the brand’s first and largest point of sale, was established in the street level quarters once occupied by the palace stables.
The front of the building is reflected in all its splendor in the waters of the Arno river, between the Carraia and Santa Trinita bridges.
This block was once a large garden that housed a hunting lodge belonging to the Medici, the family under whose government Florence experienced the most extraordinary economic and cultural period of its history. It is not unlikely that the artists and intellectuals who attended the Medici court at the dawn of the Renaissance found refreshment here.
Palazzo Corsini as we see it today was designed in the fully-fledged Baroque era and built between 1656 and 1737.
Its appearance in the almost exclusively medieval and fifteenth century Florence’s urban plan did not go unnoticed. That first and only – and immense – baroque building inspired by the great Roman palaces was scandalous among its contemporaries. Most people objected that it was too different, too new, too lavish. But the dice had been thrown and the city learned to love the splendor of those mighty walls, the terraces open on the river, the façade facing the Lungarno, the terracotta statues and vases adorning the balustrades, and the large windows.
Over the centuries the palace’s immense rooms full of frescoes, stuccos and works of art by master artists (Pontormo, Filippo Lippi, Signorelli, and Caravaggio to name a few), its beautiful courtyard and the splendid nymphaeum have hosted and housed Popes, heads of government, men of culture and science.
The Corsini family has been linked to the building since its construction.
Clemente XII who became Pope in 1740 was a Corsini. His election marked the culmination of the rise of the family, whose success began in the Middle Ages when they founded a bank which would extend its business throughout Europe, even to London, and would become one of its most important financial institutions.
Even today descendants of the family still live there.
The palace can be visited by appointment.