Medici villas in Tuscany


The Florentine Medici family counts among its ranks bankers, politicians and even popes. Known as the most important Florentine family, they used their great power and their immense wealth to rule Florence, collect an immense artistic patrimony and build majestic villas in the entire territory of Tuscany.

All built at the turn of the fifteenth and seventeenth century, some of these villas have turned into museums, others are commonly frequented by the Florentines (especially the parks) and others have been converted in luxury resorts where you can stay surrounded by the charm of a Renaissance structure.

The first Medicean palace par excellence is the Palazzo Pitti, the extraordinary family residence in the historic center of Florence, attached to the Palazzo Vecchio by the Vasari Corridor and surrounded by Boboli Gardens.

Other villas, scattered in the most beautiful areas of Tuscany, were mainly summer homes, used for holidays, for pleasure and for agricultural activities. The Medici loved the countryside, the often escaped from the hustle of the city to take part in the rural life in the most beautiful scenery of the Tuscan countryside.They have become wonderful examples of Renaissance and Baroque style and today can be visited and admired in all their architectural and historic splendor.

These include the Castle of Trebbio, situated in Mugello, near San Piero a Sieve, probably built on the ruins of a medieval fortress. It is situated on the top of a hill and covered by dense vegetation which offers a wide view on the whole Mugello.You can visit the castle, taste local wine and oil, dine at the restaurant and stay in one of the apartments of the castle with all the comfort and luxury and an outdoor swimming pool surrounded by greenery.

In Mugello there is also the Cafaggiolo Castle, a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture, used by Medici to give receptions, balls and parties. As the summer residence of the Medici family it was a particular favorite of Lorenzo the Magnificent, who spent here his adolescence and often hosted humanist philosophers.Today, despite the many changes that have occurred over the centuries, the villa still preserves its original element. The castle can be visited and often hosts events, conferences, guided tours with tastings and cooking classes.

Anothere Medici villa located in Mugello is Lo Sprocco. It is said that this villa enjoys the first sunlight of the day and the last at sunset, from which the first shoot that, in the Florentine ancient name was, precisely, the "Sprocco". The first building dates back to 1400 but, in the course the years it has undergone numerous changes.Today the villa hosts weddings, events, cooking classes, it has a restaurant and a bed & breakfast with 5 spacious and typical rooms.

Near Florence, the Villa Medici di Castello is particularly renowned and popular for its magnificent Italian gardens.The villa is not open to the public because it is the seat of the prestigious Accademia della Crusca, while the garden can be visited.

The Villa Medici at Poggio a Caiano dates back from the late fifteenth century, it belonged to Lorenzo the Magnificent and hosted famous people including Vittorio Emanuele II. Today, it is a small museum, with remarkable frescoes of the sixteenth century and is surrounded by a beautiful park.

On the hills of Artimino there is Villa La Ferdinanda, commissioned by Ferdinando I de 'Medici to Buontalenti in the late sixteenth century.The villa is now home to events, meetings and weddings, while you can find accommodation by choosing one of the three structures adjacent to the villa: Hotel Paggeria Medicea (4 stars), the apartments of the Borgo di Artimino and 6 exclusive apartments called "Fagianaie", all with the ultimate in comfort, in a luxurious and distinctive atmosphere.The structure includes also the restaurant and the farm where you can taste local products such as olive oil, wine and take part in cooking classes.

These are probably the most famous Medici villas in Tuscany, but the territory of the region is literally dotted with these architectural gems. Take your time to visit them and take a step back in time to the Italian Renaissance...