POGGIO A CAIANO /
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The Medici Villa of Poggio a Caiano is one of the most famous Medici residences in Tuscany, recognized by Unesco as a World Heritage Site since 2013. The construction of the Villa, commissioned by Lorenzo de 'Medici, known as the Magnificent, started around 1480 and ended in the following century. It has been the country residence of the Medici, the Lorena and the Savoia family and then it became a possession of the Italian State in 1914. Nowadays it offers two visit paths: on the ground floor and on the first floor the monumental apartments, on the second floor the Still Life Museum. This building represents the first example of Renaissance architecture where the lessons of the classical age and the characteristics elements of the Tuscan rural stately architecture blend together into a perfect harmony of styles and spaces. The twin stairways leading to the terrace are a variation on the original project; they were built at the behest of Elisa Baciocchi Bonaparte, Napoleon's sister and Grand Duchess of Tuscany, during the early years of the nineteenth century, by the Pasquale Poccianti's project. The perfection of the model projected by Sangallo is enriched by pictorial masterpieces in the building: the fresco decoration depicting Laocoon's sacrifice by Filippino Lippi, currently under restoration, or the frescoes in the Leone X Hall by Andrea del Sarto, Pontormo and Franciabigio as well as by Allori who completed the work. The elegant halls are valuable and the visit of the garden and the lemon house is enjoyable. The Medici's passion for nature and botany is also shown in the Still Life Museum (the first one in Italy), with more than 180 paintings from the Medici's collection dating back to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Near the Medici Villa there are the Medici Stables. They were built for Cosimo I in 1548 by Nicolò Pericoli known as 'il Tribolo'. This building has a remarkable size (3400 mq). The structure, which has a basilica shape, could house about 200 horses and host knights and dedicated staff on the second floor. Recently the Stables have been partially restored and they host on the inside: the Ardengo Soffici Museum, the Twentieth Century Museum, the municipal library 'F. Inverni', as well as exhibition rooms and conference rooms.
For further information: villegiardinimedicei.it/villa-di-poggio-a-caiano/
Free admission with compulsory reservation to be made within the previous day; maximum 10 people per visit.
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