The history of Casa Torre Margherita, formerly known as Talei Franzesi traces the vicissitudes of Families Talei and Franzesi. The family Franzesi, the oldest, originated around the year 1000, but became the protagonist of history in the second half of 1200, when Ciampolo, eldest son of Guido della Foresta, said Musciatto (as it was called a special quality of sugar imported from ‘East), was born in 1240 near Figline in the valley of the Arno.
Soon Musciatto with his brother Albizzo, leaving Tuscany to travel to France, where he joined the court of King Philip IV called “Il Bello” from which he received the title of Knight. In France Musciatto, said de ‘Franzesi, is enriched receiving tithes to the king of France, putting wear and deciding which merchants from Florence and Siena could do business in France.
The dream of Musciatto was to return to Florence as a conqueror, and in 1301 he returned to Florence with Charles of Valois, brother of Philip “Il Bello”, who was invited by Pope Boniface VIII to settle the disputes between the blacks Guelphs and white Guelphs of Florence. At that time, Florence was an economic powerhouse made up of merchants and bankers and money of the Florentine served both to the Pope that the King of France to finance their delusions of grandeur.
In the early 1300 Musciatto and brothers bought several possessions between Siena, Florence and San Gimignano and the rock of Staggia became their headquarter.
This is the period of greatest splendor and power of the Franzesi, then with the death of Boniface VIII began to decline. The successor of Boniface VIII, Benedict XI, took from Franzesi the benefits of tithes and church did not return the loans made by the Franzesi to the papacy.
Even in France, though his friendship with Philip “Il Bello” remained firm, the Franzesi were forced to give up many privileges. The Guelph families of Florence, who had always seen as foreigners and Franzesi had not forgotten the wrongs done in France by Musciatto, took advantage of the economic difficulties of the Franzesi and the loss of the political support of the pope, condemning and confiscating Musciatto their assets.
In the meantime Benedict XI died and successor, Clement V, a French pope linked to Philip “Il Bello”. Musciatto took advantage of this situation by appointing his brother Albizzo Knight of the Pope. The attendance of the rooms of the Curia Albizzo consented to receive the task of organizing the transport of the papal treasure from Perugia to France. Musciatto, along with his brother, organized the theft of a portion of the treasure that will be used to pay debts. Pursued by the Pontifical Justice Musciatto and Albizzo emigrated to France where they kept the protection of Philip il Bello and died here, exiles, in 1307. He touched his younger brother Nicholas repay at least part of the Pontifical room and save properties of the family as the most important building in S. Gimignano.
The family Talei dates back to 1567 when a Talei appears in the baptismal registers in San Gimignano. In general, Talei are remembered as shopkeepers, artisans and small landowners but their economic value had to be elevated to the first 800. Their fame grew when Bernardino of Giovanni, born in 1805, married the last of the Franzesi Carlotta Camilla of Angelo and the descendants of Talei could combine their surname that of the Franzesi. Descendants of Bernardino and Carlotta Camilla Talei Franzesi lived in the family mansion in San Gimignano located in Via San Matteo.
Don Luigi Pecori, priest, writer and scolar, and author of the history of San Gimignano was born here, in the 11 October 1811.
The last who live in the Palace were Marta and Lella Talei Franzesi , the second died in the 90s of the last century. Since then the Palace Talei Franzesi, no longer inhabited, has undergone a progressive deterioration until the last heir sold the property in 2010 to the family Bucalossi.
The next two years were made interventions thorough restoration process bringing the building to its former glory.
Today the Palace Talei Franzesi is used as a historical mansion by the name of Casa Torre Margherita in honor of the smallest of Bucalossi.