Giulia Ammannati (1 January 1538, Villa Basilica – 1 August 1620, Florence) was best known as the mother of Galileo Galilei. She was a member of a prosperous family. Her ancestor Iacopo Ammannati was the secretary of Pope Pius II.
|Born||1 January 1538|
Villa Basilica, Italy
|Died||1 August 1620|
|Known for||mother of Galileo Galilei|
Giulia Ammannati was born in 1538 in the small village of Villa Basilica. Her father, Cosimo, was a wood merchant of Pescia, who moved to Pisa before 1536. Among the ancestors of the Ammannati family was the secretary of Pope Pius II, Iacopo Ammanati. Ammannati had three sisters, Diamante, Dorotea and Ermellina, and a brother, Leone.
On 5 July 1562, Ammannati married Vincenzio Galilei at Pisa. By this time Ammannati's father already died and her brother Leone was to take charge of the dowry. Ammannati brought a hundred scudi as a dowry, a half in cash and the rest in clothes. Additionally, her brother Leoni guaranteed to buy food for a year. One year after they married the Galilei family rented a house in Via dei Mercanti where Vincenzio Galilei established music school which had no financial success. Therefore, Galilei, a musician, was forced to enter the silk and wood trade.
On 15 February 1564, Ammannati gave birth to their first child, Galileo in the Ammannati family house in via Giusti, in the San Francesco district in Pisa where Ammannati's mother Lucrezia and sister Dorotea lived. In 1566 Vincenzio Galileo moved to Florence leaving Ammannati and Galileo in Pisa. In his absence a customs officer Muzio Tedaldi looked after the family and sent regular reports to Vincenzio. In 1574, Ammannati with children rejoined her husband in Florence.
During first ten years of marriage, Ammannati gave birth to three more children: Benedetto (birth date unknown), Virginia in 1573 and Anna in 1574. Unfortunately, both Benedetto and Anna died prematurely. In 1580, Ammannuti gave birth to one more daughter, Lena, who also died soon. Totally, there were eleven children in the Galilei family.
After the death of Vincenzo Galilei in 1591, the oldest son, Galileo, who already was a professor of mathematics in Pisa, took the burden of sustaining Ammannati and his siblings. As Galileo moved to Padua Ammannati sent him letters in which she complained of her son's neglect. In 1609 Ammannati wrote a letter from Florence to Galileo's domestic servants, Alessandro Piersanti where she expressed concern that she hadn't heard anything from him for several weeks.
The same year she visited Galileo in Padua and returned to Florence with her granddaughter Virginia, whom she took care of until Galileo's return to Tuscany the following year.
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