Project Description

TOUR OF THE MEDICI VILLAS, UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE

Twelve villas and two gardens spread across the Tuscan countryside give testimony to the Medici family’s world-renowned legacy. Built between the 15th and 17th centuries, they represent the first example of the relationship between architecture, gardens, and the environment, becoming an unprecedented reference for princely residences throughout Italy and Europe. In the Medici villas, scholars, artists and philosophers, under the patronage of Cosimo the Elder and Lorenzo the Magnificent, gave form to Humanism and the Renaissance. Through the tour of the Medici Villas we will learn about their story, a real Medici sagaThe Medici villas were included in the World Heritage List in 2013.

MEDICI VILLA OF LA PETRAIA AND CASTELLO

With the Tour of the Medici Villas we start from Villa La Petraia. Situated on the outskirts of Florence, it was rebuilt along Renaissance lines by the Florentine architect Bernardo Buontalenti. This is the Tuscan villa where the Medici family usually retired to when they left the city. The courtyard, roofed over in the 19th century, is decorated with frescoes by Volterrano in celebration of the Medici house. Then we head to Villa di Castello. It was the favourite residence of Cosimo I, who took special interest in the garden, planning it according to a complex symbolical design in which statues, fountains and grottoes glorified Cosimo’s figure. The villa itself is not open to the public, but we can enjoy the magnificent garden, declared the most beautiful garden of Italy in 2013.

MEDICI VILLA OF POGGIO A CAIANO AND CERRETO GUIDI

The Villa Medicea di Poggio a Caiano was built by Lorenzo the Magnificent, this villa is located in a large estate between Florence, Prato and Pistoia. The building site was interrupted at Lorenzo’s death in 1492, but it was continued under pope Leo X, Lorenzo’s son. The great hall is beautifully decorated with allegorical frescoes painted by Andrea del Sarto, Pontormo, Franciabigio and Alessandro Allori which celebrate the Medici family. The villa also houses the Museum of Still Life.
The last Medici residence, Villa Medicea di Cerreto Guidi was built on the will of Cosimo I as a country house on his private game reserve in an area called Padule di Fucecchio (swampland of Fucecchio). There is also the Historical Hunting and Territorial Museum in the villa where ancient firearms for hunting are displayed.
For this tour we need a car. I can recommend you some car rentals with a private driver, unless you have your private vehicle.

For this tour we need a car. I can recommend you some car rentals with a private driver, unless you have your private vehicle.

How long? It’s a full-day excursion
Do you want to know more about this tour? Email me!