The Medici Villas

The Medici built 24 villas in Tuscany. Originally farmhouses, as a countryside alternative for the hectic city life, these buildings became centers of political power for the Medici Grand Dukes. All villas are masterpieces of Renaissance architecture, filled with art collections and surrounded by lovely gardens which show us how gardening can be considered an art and plant collections can become art collections of historical value. We’ll visit the villas closest to Florence, Villa La Petraia and Villa di Castello.

Duration: 3 hours| Rates

These are the most important stops during our tour:

  • Villa La Petraia: In the year 1544 Cosimo I bought an old country house on the hills close to Sesto Fiorentino. Over the centuries this house was turned into the impressive Palace we see now. The courtyard covered at the end of the nineteenth century by a glass and metal structure, is fully decorated with frescoes. The interior of the villa dates from the time of Vittorio Emanuele II, the first King of Italy. In 1588 Ferdinando I started to turn the rocky surroundings into a walled terrace garden on three levels. A typical Italian Renaissance garden with a dense forest, nurseries, water basins, geometrical flowerbeds and lots of citrus trees in pots.
  • Villa di Castello: This villa used to belong to the secondary branch of the Medici family and was inherited by the parents of Cosimo I, who grew up here. The Villa is closed for visitors and houses the Accademia della Cursca, the renowned institute of Italian language studies. The garden, designed by Vasari in the year 1538, became the prototype for all Medici gardens and European gardens during the Renaissance. In the lower part of the garden the fountains, decorated with statues and surrounded by antique busts, are set between the geometric flowerbeds with dwarf fruit trees. The citrus garden consists of almost 500 different species of old and unusual lemon trees. The Grotta del Diluvio with its waterworks also contains animals in marble and bronze. The upper garden is a dense forest where a giant statue of the God Appenino towers over the pond.

RATES (Rates are per tour, tickets are not included)

Groups (from 10 up to 25 persons) € 130 + € 2 for each extra person
Individual clients (from 1 up to 9 persons) € 150
Incentives € 160
Schools up to 25 persons € 120 + € 2 for each extra person
Ticket for the Villas Free entrance

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