The Casa Pia dei Ceppi originated from the merging in 1545 of two medieval charitable institutions, the “Ceppo Vecchio” founded in 1283 by Monte di Turingo Pugliesi and the “Ceppo Nuovo” founded in 1410 by Francesco Datini, originally known as the “Casa de Cieppo de’ poveri di Francesco di Marco” with the specific objective, as stated in his will: “sì che in perpetuo de’ frutti d’esse si paschino e si nutrichino i poveri di Giesù Cristo”.
Set up as a Charitable Institution after 1890, after Tuscan Regional law no. 43 of 3 August 2004 became effective, the Casa Pia converted into a non-profit Foundation known as the “Casa Pia dei Ceppi-Palazzo Datini”.
Established under private law, the Casa Pia dei Ceppi is a non-profit foundation, it does not engage in commercial activities and pursues solely purposes of social and cultural utility and the protection and valorisation of its historic-artistic heritage.
In compliance with its founder’s will, the Casa Pia dei Ceppi proposes to assist the poor and needy with financial contributions, either directly or through civilly recognized non-profit associations operating in the Municipality of Prato; to intervene in socio-economic initiatives promoted in favour of the enterprise and work and aimed at sustaining the family; to undertake cultural activities in the scientific, information and educational field; to protect and valorise the movable and immovable assets of Palazzo Datini and the documentary, archival, and library sources related to its inheritance.
Francesco Datini wrote in his will that the religious charity to which he left all his possessions should not be “in niuno modo sottoposta alla Chiesa o ecclesiastici uffici o prelati ecclesiastici o altra persona ecclesiastica”, but managed by “quattro terrazzani”, the so-called ”buonhomini”, selected from among the “migliori e più onesti della terra di Prato, nominati dal Comune”.
In line with these prescriptions, today the Foundation is managed by a Board of Directors consisting of five members appointed by the Mayor of Prato.
The present Board of Directors, which took up office on 24 June 2016, consists of Walter Bernardi (Presidente), Diana Toccafondi (Vice-presidente), Giampaolo Bigagli (Tesoriere), Luigi Madera (Segretario), Lucia Petrà.