They arrived in Florence at the end of 1100 coming from near Poggibonsi, a small city located between Florence and Siena. In the rich Florence of the fourteenth and fifteenth century they became among the most, first traders and then bankers as reported also in the Cronica by Giovanni Villani.
At the beginning of the fourteenth century, the head of the family, Tommaso di Duccio (? -1366), started, as often happened, his sons and those of his brother Niccolò towards political, ecclesiastical and economic activity. The Corsini were able to establish themselves in all three sectors. Filippo di Tommaso emerged in political life, Andrea di Niccolò, who died in 1373, bishop of Fiesole, was made a saint in 1624 by Pope Urban VIII; Pietro di Tommaso became a cardinal and was very close to Pope Urban V in exile in Avignon and was one of the architects of the return of the Pontifical See to Rome. In the first two centuries, up to 1450, there were no economic and political successes, but also misadventures and failures, the most famous of which was the one that saw the Florentine banking system failed as a result of the political and military situation of Edward III, King of England, who did not keep faith with what was promised.
It is following this situation that Matteo di Niccolò (1322-1402) went very young in England to his cousins Stracciabende, who in those years were masters of money at the court of the King of England. In the eighteen years spent in England, Matthew accumulated a good fortune, trading wool, silk and herring. Returning to Florence, he bought many lands, but did not abandon the mercantile activity that was always the basis of the wealth of the Corsini until the mid-1700s. He received the title of Count Palatino by the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire Charles IV. He was hit hard by confiscation of property during the war of the eight saints and had to honor the debts of his nephew (1380).
With the Medici the relationships of Casa Corsini are alternate. In fact, we will see them in good harmony, during the Medici Principality, but at the time of the republic, if this could be defined while recognizing that power was already in the hands of the family of Cosimo the Elder, the Corsini have shown to surrender unwillingly to the invasion of the doctors.
November 4, 1494 - Luca Corsini decided, by himself, to make the bells ring a hammer, convinced that the time had come for the people to move against the feeble Piero, son of the Magnifico. The fact that Corsini anticipated Pier Capponi in playing the Florentine bells shows that he did not run good blood between them and the Medici. Reports that at the time of Cosimo the Elder were good enough to see the representation of the Banco Mediceo in Rome assigned to a Corsini. Relations with the Medici family were steadily good when, after the siege of Florence in 1530, the Medici principality began and lasted until the second half of the 18th century.
The large purchases of land and works of art begin towards the beginning of 1600, everywhere in Tuscany, in Umbria, in Lazio. The patrimonial solidity is due above all to the brothers Filippo (1538-1601) and Bartolomeo (1545-1613) of Bernardo who created in London from 1567 an important commercial office connected with Florence with a rapid private postal service. The letters of Bartholomew, who lived in London, took less than three days to cross the sleeve and half of Europe and then get to his brother Filippo in Florence. In addition to merchants and bankers, the Corsini brothers, 250 years before Tommaso, successfully insured the commercial shipping of the first Greek shipowners.
The enormous fortune of their mercantile activities was for the most part invested in real estate scattered in Umbria Lazio and Tuscany and then bound in fidecommessi (the precursors of the "Trust" still used today in the Anglo-Saxon world). The Corsini bought farms, built and restored villas and palaces in Pisa, Florence, Viterbo and Rome and the next three members of the family, Filippo di Lorenzo, his son Bartolomeo and his son, Filippo, owe the purchases that will lead to construction of their two Florentine buildings: the one on Lungarno Corsini and the one in via del Prato, still today both owned by the family.
In 1621 they bought the Casino degli Acciaioli and a large area around the Prato. The Palace was built according to a design by Buontalenti around 1575 and completed by Gherardo Silvani who also built the loggia and the Italian garden decorated with marble statues by B. Bozzolini. In 1675, Filippo (1647-1706) commissioned Foggini to build the chapel in honor of S. Andrea Corsini in the Carmine Church in Florence. In 1690 the construction began by the architects Silvani and Ferri del Palazzo on the Lungarno Corsini which lasted until 1698. On the first floor of the Palazzo, in the apartment overlooking the Lungarno, an important part of the paintings was ordered in "Galleria Gentilizia" then bought or commissioned by the Corsini. Even today the Corsini Gallery belongs to the Family and can be visited by appointment.
In 1697, the construction of the palace began the transformation and decoration of the Villa di Castello outside Florence. In 1730 Cardinal Lorenzo (1652-1740) was elected Pope with the name of Clement XII, after a conclave that lasted four months. Born in Florence in 1652, at the time of the election he was about 80 years old. He was certainly not a young Pope; but he knew the administration of the Church, having served as treasurer under the previous pontiff: Alexander VIII. He was an expert in finance matters, and this was important, at a time when the papacy cases were almost empty.
A cultured man and a great patron, he founded the Capitoline museums and commissioned important monumental works in Rome; among these we remember the Trevi Fountain and the façade of the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano in which he built the family chapel dedicated to S. Andrea, the façade of Santa Maria Maggiore, the Palazzo della Consulta, the port of Anzio, Ravenna and of Ancona.
His nephew Neri (1685-1770) who became a cardinal in 1736 purchased from the Riario the palace at Lungara, enlarged by the Fuga, in which he arranged the collection of prints and drawings, the rich library, known as the Corsini library, and the important collection of paintings. Palazzo Corsini alla Lungara was acquired to the patrimony of the Kingdom of Italy in 1883 by Tommaso Corsini (1835-1919), who founded, in the Palazzo, the Accademia dei Lincei giving the collection of prints and paintings (today known as the "Corsini Collection") and the Corsiniana Library.
The first prince of Sismano was Bartolomeo (1683-1752), son of that Filippo who ordered the construction of Palazzo Corsini on the Lungarno; favorite nephew of Clement XII, he was commander of the Roman Cavalry, President of the Cabinet of King Carlos III in Naples (then Vice-King of Sicily), and Grande di Spagna.
The Corsini, which the eighteenth century had seen more Roman than Florentine, returned largely to Florence in the following century.
Neri (1771-1845), son of Bartolomeo (III prince of Sismano 1729-92) held important positions both during the Napoleonic period and after the Bourbon restoration (1815). Strongly oriented towards maintaining the independence of Tuscany, it managed to obtain a lot for Tuscany from both regimes. Minister of the Interior and Plenipotentiary at the Congress of Vienna obtained, among others, the restitution of many works of art confiscated during the French occupation of Tuscany; in the last year of his life he was prime minister and foreign minister.
Thomas (IV Prince of Sismano 1767-1856) his brother, lived mostly in Rome except for various diplomatic missions in Paris and then in Vienna in the Napoleonic period. He returned to Rome after the restoration and was repeatedly senator; after the revolts of 1848-49 he attempted a moderate government but refusing to join the Republic of Rome, he failed and remained in Florence until Pio IX (1847-78) returned to the city.
The V ° Principe di Sismano, Andrea (1804-1868) was, like his uncle, foreign minister of the grand duchy but was Tommaso Corsini (VI Prince of Sismano1835-1919), to ferry the Corsini family and its heritage to Italy of the Savoy; he made important donations of works of art and ceded the Palazzo Corsini of Rome to the State. In addition to being a political figure of great importance (deputy of the kingdom from 1865 to 1882, then a senator for life and finally mayor of Florence), he did not neglect the care of heritage: he founded La Fondiaria Assicurazioni, presided over the Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, was president of the Italian Society for the southern railway tracks and played an important role in the success of the electricity companies of central Italy.
But his real passion was archeology and therefore he undertook many excavation campaigns, the most important of which was that of Marsiliana where he discovered many Etruscan treasures that he donated to the Archaeological Museum of Florence. He married Anna Barberini Colonna who with her sister Luisa, married to Pier Francesco Corsini, were the last descendants of that branch of the Barberini house.
He had eight children, two of whom were boys: Prince Andrew (VII Prince of Sismano (1866- 1952), who was not married and Don Filippo Marchese di Laiatico, mayor of Florence, Prince Thomas (VIII Prince of Sismano 1903-1980), son Philip had the difficult task of passing on the tradition of the Corsini in a new world produced by the sum of 2 dramatic events for Italy: the Fascist dictatorship and the Second World War.Those Thomas was involved in Italian political life contributing as a deputy of the Constituent to the formation of the Constitution that still regulates our republican life.
He was a great expert in agriculture and breeding, contributing not a little to the modernization of the sector in Tuscany and Umbria; his wife Donna Elena managed to save the Corsini Gallery and many other art treasures from the bombing and the crossing of the front during the Second World War.
Their son Filippo (1937) is the IX and current Prince, is married to Giorgiana Avogadro of Valdengo and Collobiano and is father of Duccio (1964) Duke of Casigliano, married to Clotilde Trentinaglia de Daverio, from which Filippo and Elena Clarice; by Elena Sabina (1966), married to Brando Quilici from whom Corso; Nencia (1969), married to Benedetto Bolza, from whom Giorgiana; Elizabetta Fiona (1969) from which Leone, Neri and Zara Boatto.