Medici Villa - Poggio A Caiano (PO) - QualcosaDaFare.it
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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/

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43.816580°, 11.055352°

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when

Closed every Monday


Villa (Monumental Apartments): every hour from 8.30 to 15.30. Admission only with an accompanied visit. There is no visit at 13.30. Park: 8.15am - 5.00pm (last admission 4.30pm) Entrance to the park without reservation.

costs

Free admission with compulsory reservation to be made within the previous day; maximum 10 people per visit.

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Once upon a time there was a beautiful nymph who, due to the heat, went down to the river to cool off. Ombrone saw her, fell madly in love with her and wanted her; the nymph, realizing Ombrone's intentions, began to flee. The two ran through the woods and plains, until Amber, now tired, while already on her horizon saw Arno blocking her escape, asked for help from the Goddess Diana who transformed her into rock. Ombrone saddened began to hug her with his waters and to cry desperately. Ombrone is still there waiting for Amber to become a nymph again. The foundations of the majestic Medici Villa of Poggio a Caiano lay on that 'rock'. The founding myth of the Medici villa of Poggio a Caiano is narrated by Lorenzo the Magnificent himself in the poetic operetta Descriptio hiemis, commonly known as Ambra. In the garden of the Medici Villa of Poggio a Caiano a terracotta statue immediately brings into focus the story of the nymph Ambra depicted at the moment when, hunted by Ombrone, with the help of the Goddess Diana, turns into rock. You will be fulfilled with the poetry of the images created by the mythology and Renaissance culture of the Magnificent, surrounded by shaded paths and characteristic corners, and it will feel like time will stop again.

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c/o Medici villa gardens

43.818690°, 11.057031°

Directions

when

Closed every Monday


Visite accompagnate della durata di un'ora circa con ingresso ogni ora dalle 8.30 alle 15.30.
Non si effettua la visita delle ore 13.30.
Gli Appartamenti e il Museo sono visitabili separatamente.
Nel caso di visite consecutive si dovranno prenotare prima gli Appartamenti e a seguire il Museo.

Parco: 8.15 - 17.00 (ultimo ingresso ore 16.30)
Ingresso al parco senza prenotazione.

costs

Ingresso gratuito con prenotazione obbligatoria da effettuare entro il giorno precedente; massimo 10 persone a visita.

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The Medici Villa of Poggio a Caiano is worth a visit not only for its interiors: one of the highlights of this place is the large park that surrounds it, about 9 hectares wide and consisting of two main sectors: the garden and the forest. The lunette painted by Giusto Utens in 1599 is the main testimony of how the park of the villa must have looked in its original form, or how it was conceived by the architect Niccolò Tribolo: a vineyard and an orchard on the left, an Italian garden on the right, on the back fir groves, vegetable gardens and orchards. Today there is no longer the orchards, largely replaced by woods, while the Italian garden is still there, to which a central fountain has been added. The neoclassical lemon house at the edge of the garden is a great nineteenth-century change: the cultivation of Tuscan lemons started there, with the practice of keeping them in large pots to be able to move them, during the winter, inside the lemon house. Some statues decorate the park of the villa, the most famous of which is the terracotta one representing the legend of Ambra and Ombrone.

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where

43.816580°, 11.055352°

Directions

when

Closed every Monday


Visite accompagnate della durata di un'ora circa con ingresso ogni ora dalle 8.30 alle 15.30.
Non si effettua la visita delle ore 13.30.
Gli Appartamenti e il Museo sono visitabili separatamente.
Nel caso di visite consecutive si dovranno prenotare prima gli Appartamenti e a seguire il Museo.

Parco: 8.15 - 17.00 (ultimo ingresso ore 16.30)
Ingresso al parco senza prenotazione.

costs

Ingresso gratuito con prenotazione obbligatoria da effettuare entro il giorno precedente; massimo 10 persone a visita.

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On the inside of the Medici villa there is the Bianca Cappello's apartment, very cultured and refined Venetian noblewoman, Grand Duke Francesco I's lover and then wife. Their love was a scandal during Renaissance and the Medici family opposed it, since Francesco I was already married to Joan of Austria, and Bianca Cappello had an husband too. The two lovers spent some of the most important moments of their relationship in Poggio a Caiano. Initially Bianca was kept away from the Medici court, staying near the Medici Villa, at Villa Il Cerretino; this 'forced' removal gave rise to some popular fantasies, such as the existence of an underground passage between the two villas that would have allowed the two lovers to secretly meet. After the Bianca Cappello's husband and the Francesco I's wife, Joan of Austria, died, they were finally able to marry in 1579, and they spent the best and the worst moments of their lives in the Villa of Poggio a Caiano, where you can still visit the Bianca Cappello's apartment. In this Villa they both fatally died in October 1587, one day away from the other: a 2004-2006 study, following the analysis of the two spouses' remains inside the Church of Santa Maria in Bonistallo, talks about arsenic intoxication. The most accredited version attributes the death of the two spouses to 'tertian fever', or malaria.

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when

Closed every Monday


Visite accompagnate della durata di un'ora circa con ingresso ogni ora dalle 8.30 alle 15.30.
Non si effettua la visita delle ore 13.30.
Gli Appartamenti e il Museo sono visitabili separatamente.
Nel caso di visite consecutive si dovranno prenotare prima gli Appartamenti e a seguire il Museo.

Parco: 8.15 - 17.00 (ultimo ingresso ore 16.30)
Ingresso al parco senza prenotazione.

costs

Ingresso gratuito con prenotazione obbligatoria da effettuare entro il giorno precedente; massimo 10 persone a visita.

ASK A QUESTION. Ask for more information

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The Museum is located on the second floor of the Medici Villa of Poggio a Caiano, and houses about 200 paintings that belonged to the Medici family, from the end of the 16th to the middle of the 18th century. In the 16 rooms of the Museum, two of which are decorated in the Lorraine style, It is possible to admire the still life collections that belonged to four generations of the Medici family, from Cosimo II to Anna Maria Luisa de 'Medici. The visit chronologically reconstructs the formation of the Medici collections of still life paintings, with which it was customary to furnish and decorate the interiors of the 17 Medici villas in the area, which formed a net of hunting and leisure residences, around the Royal Palace of Palazzo Pitti, , the centre of Medici power and prestige. Through the people of the Tuscan grand-ducal dynasty, the visitor can follow an itinerary that rebuilds the interests of the Medici family, which already from the mid-sixteenth century showed much interest in naturalistic illustrations. The first still lifes became part of the Medici collections in the early seventeenth century, coming from northern Europe, northern Italy and Rome, the areas where this new artistic genre was born almost simultaneously. The great protagonist of the Museum is the painter Bartolomeo Bimbi, whose masterpieces have been permanently exhibited in two large rooms dedicated to him. Specialized in the genre of still life, the artist worked almost exclusively for the Medici, in charge of illustrating the collections of citrus fruits and the products of the Medici crops. The masterpieces that made him famous are the citrus and fruit samples commissioned by Cosimo III at the end of the seventeenth century, for the Villa La Topaia; due to the high value of scientific documentation of these works, since 1990, after the XXIII International Horticultural Congress, it was decided that Bimbi's paintings should be exhibited in the Villa di Poggio a Caiano. In addition to the works of Bimbi, the Museum collects works by Flemish and Italian painters specialized in the genre of still life: Jan Brueghel, Mario dei Fiori, Bartolomeo Ligozzi, Margherita Caffi, Giovanni Stanchi, Andrea Scacciati, Otto Marseus.

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when

Closed every Monday


At the moment the Museum is temporarily closed.

costs

Ingresso gratuito con prenotazione obbligatoria da effettuare entro il giorno precedente; massimo 10 persone a visita.

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The Medici Villa of Poggio a Caiano is also famous for the fresco decorations that surround the vaults of the large rooms. It is interesting to be able to recognize, through the pictorial styles, the passage of time with the stories of the people who lived in this wonderful place. The main floor opens with the great hall of Leone X communicating with the other rooms and, on the smaller sides, with the outside. The hall is wide-ranging, with a large barrel vault with lacunars, it must have had a scenographic look to celebrate the greatness of the Medici family, Giovanni de 'Medici in particular after his election to the papal throne with the name of Leone X. It was the first pope of the Medici family to commission the great pictorial cycle, between 1519 and 1521, to the most illustrious painters of his time. It is no coincidence that he wanted Franciabigio, Andrea del Sarto and Pontormo to the court of the Villa of Poggio. Leo X, son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, had inherited a refined taste for the arts and collections of objects from the ancient world. The pontiff also understood the central role of his dynasty and Florence as a reference city for art and culture in Europe. The iconographic system of the walls of the hall on the noble floor of the Villa had therefore to recall famous episodes of Roman history, since the Medici wanted to be considered the heirs of classical and ancient world. The decorations, with the representation of episodes of Roman history, had the role of glorifying in particular the moments of the political life of Cosimo the Elder and Lorenzo the Magnificent. Entering the hall, on the first panel on the right Alessandro Allori makes a tribute to the political figure of Lorenzo the Magnificent, recollecting his intervention in the Diet of Cremona; the painter compares Lorenzo de 'Medici to the consul Flaminio when he speaks to the council of Achaeans, surrounded by allegories of Virtue, necessary qualities to achieve diplomatic success. In the upper lunette there is 'Vertumnus and Pomona' by Jacopo Carnicci, known as Pontormo (1494-1556). This frescoed lunette, depicting the rural divinities Vertumnus and Pomona among peasant figures, is the only original portion of the complex decoration of the hall dating back to the iconographic progect of the Villa commissioned by Lorenzo the Magnificent, in correspondence with the representations of the frieze by Andrea Sansovino and of the fresco by Filippino Lippi on the Loggia of the pronaos. Continuing counterclockwise, the second panel is 'Cicero's Return from Exile'. It is a work by Francesco di Cristofano known as Franciabigio (1482-1525), who wants to allude to the return to Florence of Cosimo the Elder from his Venetian exile. The scene was later enlarged by the intervention of Allori. Above the entrance door another allegory of the three Virtues is represented, while in the third panel you can admire the scene of 'the king of Numidia Siface receiving Scipio', which recalls the journey that Lorenzo the Magnificent made in Naples with Ferdinando d ' Aragon, after the Pazzi conspiracy, to find a diplomatic and peace agreement.

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when

Closed every Monday


Visite accompagnate della durata di un'ora circa con ingresso ogni ora dalle 8.30 alle 15.30.
Non si effettua la visita delle ore 13.30.
Gli Appartamenti e il Museo sono visitabili separatamente.
Nel caso di visite consecutive si dovranno prenotare prima gli Appartamenti e a seguire il Museo.

Parco: 8.15 - 17.00 (ultimo ingresso ore 16.30)
Ingresso al parco senza prenotazione.

costs

Ingresso gratuito con prenotazione obbligatoria da effettuare entro il giorno precedente; massimo 10 persone a visita.

ASK A QUESTION. Ask for more information

View the questions

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