La Posta di Radicofani (Osteria Grossa), Italy
A post station or coach house in Radicofani where travellers could stay during their Grand Tour in Italy.
It was built by the Grand Duke Ferdinando I de ‘Medici in 1584 by the architect Bernardo Buontalenti.
In front of the building is a large fountain built by the Duke in 1603 for the needs of travellers. It was used as a mail station and to change horses until the end of 1800. It has also been known as the tavern Grossa and has hosted many important people including: the Popes Pius VI and Pius VII, the Emperor Joseph II of Austria, Giacomo Casanova, the Marquis De Sade, Stendhal, François René de Chateaubriand, Mozart, John Ruskin , Charles Dickens and many others.
Described by John Evelyn as
“Just opposite to the inn gushed out a plentiful and most useful fountain which falls into a great trough of stone, bearing the Duke of Tuscany’s arms.”
Described by M. de Blainville as:
La Posta: lately improved, and the best sleeping-place for the second night from Florence; it was once a hunting palace of the grand-dukes. The house has lately been painted and decorated, but in former times its vast range of apartments, with their high black raftered roofs and the long passages, were considered by Mr. Beckford a fitting scene of a sabbath of witches