Okay, so maybe it’s not the stadium news we’re all desperately awaiting, but it’s something. Fiorentina are starting to remodel the Villa Favard (the one in Rovezzano, not that one) in Bagno a Ripoli (east of Florence and just north of the Arno) to serve as the main office of the new training complex in the suburb, as has been the plan for quite some time. It’s easy to see this as the club’s plans to disinvest from the Campo di Marte in Florence.
The Villa Favard was originally built during the early Renaissance by the Guelph-aligned Cerchi family. It passed to the Bartolini family at the start of the fifteenth century and was remodeled by Baccio d’Agnolo. Prince Stanislav Poniatowsky bought it in 1823 and sold it to Baroness Fiorella Favard in 1855. It was last remodeled by Giuseppe Poggi at the request of Favard’s daughter-in-law Suzanne Bacheville. After her death in 1889, it fell into decline and spent time as a military hospital in the First World War. In 1949, it fell under public administration and was separated from the surrounding park. It’s currently owned by the city of Florence and was previously used by the Luigi Cherubini Conservatory.
The 750 square meter building will need a fair amount of updating, but architect Marco Casamonti (a local and Rocco Commisso favorite) is planning to keep most of the structure intact, planning instead to provide some modernizing touches that will allow the building to maintain its historical and stylistic fit with the surrounding park and town. The club released some concept art that looks pretty dang sweet.
Local builders DAM Construzioni Generali have been contracted to do the actual work, although you know that Casamonti and Joe Barone are going to be keeping a very close eye on things. The new facility is slated to open some time in November and will host a number of Fiorentina’s coaching and analytical staff, as well as some of its medical personnel.
It means that the Viola will leave the Centro Davide Astori (formerly the Centro Sportivo Campini) next to the Stadio Artemio Franchi in a few months. We should all hope that the club brings the name with them, as that would be the correct decision. With this under his belt, Casamonti is likely to turn his gaze to a new stadium next, even if it will likely be on the other side of Florence in Campi Bisenzio, nearly 20 km from the Villa Favard.