THE MEDICI VILLAS AND THE GARDENS IN FLORENCE

9 February 2016
The tour...
Finding out more…
Useful notes...

The tour...

  • The first villa we’ll visit is Villa Castello, today known as the premises of the Accademia della Crusca (literary academy established in Florence in the 16th century to preserve the Italian language) since 1974. Preferred residence of Giovanni of the Black Bands, the villa and garden were given their present layout by Tribulo on a commission from Cosimo I in the 16th century to celebrate the house of the Medici. People visit it especially for the gardens, the first example of an Italian garden which was to represent the Garden of Eden.
    The flowerbeds, citruses, lemon-houses, Ammannati’s fountains, the maze, the woods and the whole garden have the prefect elements of a Renaissance garden where nature and man blend.
  • At one time, the gardens in Castello and Petraia were linked by an avenue. Petraia is a beautiful villa with an old guard tower and the courtyard was entirely covered with frescos with the dies fasti of the Medici. The garden, once the hunting preserve of the first king of Italy, was partly made into a romantic English park.
  • Just outside Florence, we’ll come to the garden of the Villa Gamberaia. This is one of the most magical places, with an old garden framed by a breath-taking view of the surrounding countryside and Florence. An avenue and a belvedere, ancient cypresses, fountains with lavender hedges, irises, lilies and roses to harmonise the colours, a lemon house, a phyllerea clipped in topiary, a rocaille grotto, a bowling green and a nymphaeum with extraordinary azaleas in a pot. The original garden has been entirely preserved and we marvel at every step we take.
  • Finishing on a different note, we’ll then go to Poggio Imperiale to see a typical example of the architecture of the 1700s and 1800s created by Giulio Parigi. A Medici and Lorraine house, loved by grand-duchesses.
  • In Florence itself, we’ll go to the Boboli Gardens, one of the most grandiose and elegant gardens in Italy, with natural architectural styles and created and designed by Tribolo. With an amphitheatre, an obelisk from Luxor, the ocean fountain on the little lake, the various mythological and Roman statues, the Buontalenti grotto, the Kaffehaus and especially the Cavaliers’ Garden with its wonderful geometric flowerbeds full of peonies, all on the neighbouring hills with panoramic views.

Finding out more…

These are just a few of the villas and gardens we can visit. There are more than 1500 villas in the Province of Florence

Useful notes...

Visits to the Castello and Petraia villas are free but the others are not.
If you would like a comfortable tour with a private driver, call me, without commitment, for a quotation.

More information