Hidden gems in Tuscany: the Medici villas

The Italian cultural heritage is incomparable, UNESCO confirms that with the inclusion of the Medici villas to the list of World Heritage Sites; this is the 49th Italian site in the list and is scattered over the region.

The Medici villas are a series of rural bulding complex which were owned by Medici family between the XV and the XVII century in Tuscany; UNESCO added 14 villas to the lsit, we suggest you an itinerary among the most enchanting palaces open to the public, our aim is invite you to explore the lesser known destinations of this region.

The Villa of Poggio a Caiano

Villa Ambra in Tuscany

The first stage of our route is in Poggio a Caiano and is also known as Villa Ambra, built at the end of XV century by Giuliano da Sangallo, chosen by Lorenzo the Magnificent. This building represents a unique combination between Renaissance style and classical elements, as the frescoes, the decorations and the architectural details of the two flights of stairs outdoor and the terrace.

The artworks hosted at this amazing villa are the most representative Florentine paintings of XVI century: the Sacrifice of Laocoön by Filippino Lippi, the frescoes by Andrea del Sarto and Franciabigio. Here you can admire one of the masterpieces of Pontormo, the allegory of Vertumnus and Pomona.

Inside the Villa there is the Museum of Still Life, where to see a collection of 200 paintings that is one of its kind; the reservation is required and the visits include a guided tour. Go for a walk through the gardens, redesigned during XVIII century, the most striking part is in front of Lemon house, where there are some rare plants. www.polomuseale.firenze.it

Villa La Petraia

Villa La Petraia in Florence

Florence is one of the favorite destinations by travelers for a journey through Italian treasures, and Villa La Petraia is a must-see thanks to its position that allows you to enjoy a breathtaking view of the entire city. Explore this noble residence is a sort of travel through the past, when refinement and elegance were the features of Florence, the capital of Renaissance.

This venue is really liked also as a set for weddings, due to its Italian garden and the beautiful statues as Venus by Giambologna (a reproduction of the original hosted inside the Villa).

We recommend you to visit the ballroom, decored by the frescoes of Cosimo Gaddi, the music room, where there are a piano harmonium built in 1868 and an ancient bronze clock dated back to 1770. Florence held its gems not only in the historical center, in fact La Petraia, thanks to its position, the lush beauty of its gardens and the preciousness of the artworks held here, is the evidence that Florence doesn’t cease to amaze tourists. www.cultura.toscana.it

Villa di Cerreto Guidi

Villa Cerreto Guidi close to Florence

This Villa was designed as a hunting residence and now houses the Historical Museum of Hunting and of the Territory, a collection of very rare weapons.

The Villa dates back to XVI century but inside there are furnishings and frescoes from different ages, from the Middle Age to XVIII century, besides to tapestries, Italian and Islamic artworks, Medicean portraits of Isabella de’ Medici, who was murdered here.

According to the legend, the ghost of Isabella roams around the Villa, so many tourists come here to visit the old rooms. Comparing to other villas, Cerreto Guidi has a more essential style and is recommended to who wishes to know more about the history of Medici family and loves the romantic landscapes surrounded by olive groves. www.museodellacaccia.it

Discover the Medici villas, one of the peculiarities of Tuscany, places that maintained a charming mood despite the past centuries.

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