The original "palagio di Maiano" was battered in 1467 by a hurricane, so much so that the then owner, Bartolomeo degli Alessandri, in order to handle his debts had to sell the entire complex with the large surrounding estate. In the first half of the 16th century it came to the Sforza, and then to the Buonagrazia. In 1546, it was owned by the Pazzi, and it was here that Caterina, the future Santa Maria Maddalena die Pazzi, was born.
In the 18th century, the noble line of the Pazzi ended with Luigi di Cosimo, and the villa then came to Gucci Tolomei before becoming the property of John Temple Leader, who bought it in 1850 "with closed gate"; that is to say, with all its contents.
The eclectic English politician made the villa his residence and the center of his affairs, beginning with the overall renovation of the area, which would reach its peak in the neo-Gothic conversion of the nearby Vincigliata Castle.