Florentine actress, writer and vintner, Natalia Giucciardini Strozzi was recently confirmed as a descendant of the Mona Lisa. She is the daughter of Prince Girolamo Giucciardini Strozzi and Irina Reine. Her autobiography, Facile da ricordare, published in Italian by Polistampa, was a best-seller in Russia. Her personal stories are crowded with celebrities, from Nureyev and Gregory Peck to Al-berto Sordi, Amintore Fanfani, Andrea Bocelli and Tony Blair. Trained as a ballerina, she is a lover of dance and cinematographic arts.
You come from two noble families. Tell us about your heritage.
Yes, I descend from two noble Florentine families, the Giucciardini and the Strozzi. Giucciardini was the famous historian and politician—Niccolò Machiavelli was his secretary. Many of Machiavelli’s manuscripts are still in our archives. We have some 40,000 original documents related to Italian history and an incredible amount of personal correspondence and letters that Giucciardini and Machiavelli wrote to each other. Machiavelli lived right across from our palace in Florence, the Palazzo Giucciardini.
The other family I descend from is the Strozzi line. The Giucciardini were counts and the Strozzi were princes, and the two were related through marriage. The Strozzi’s were enemies of the Medici family. The Medici’s kept us in exile, and throughout the Renaissance the two clans were constantly involved in a power struggle. The Strozzi’s were bankers and the Medici’s were doctors. They were arch opponents in the game of Florentine power.