THE MEDICI VILLAS
Just outside Florence, you have two of the 24 villas that the Medici built in Tuscany: Villa La Petraia and Villa di Castello. Surrounded by lovely gardens, they are masterpieces of Renaissance architecture, filled with art collections, but also show us how gardening was considered an art form in itself.
Villa La Petraia
In the year 1544 Cosimo I bought an old country house on the hills close to Sesto Fiorentino. Over the centuries, it became the impressive Villa we see today. Inside you’ll find a mix of different eras: beautiful frescoes of the Renaissance, the furniture dating back to the time when the Habsburgs ruled Tuscany and King Vittorio Emanuele II, the first King of Italy used it as his lodgings, and the beautiful playroom. Surrounding the Villa, a typical Italian Renaissance garden with a dense forest, nurseries, water basins, geometrical flower beds, and citrus trees in pots.
Villa di Castello
The Villa is closed for the public, but you can visit the beautiful garden designed by Giorgio Vasari. Fountains decorated with statues and surrounded by antique busts, geometric flower beds with dwarf fruit trees, the Grotta del Diluvio inhabited by animals of marble and bronze. In the upper garden, there’s a dense forest where a giant statue of the God Appenino towers over the pond.