Medici Villa of Montevettolini - Montevettolini (PT) -

The Medici villa in Montevettolini is located at the northern end of the hill, not far from the parish church of S. Michele Arcangelo, the rectory, and the Piazza del Comune. Built by Grand Duke Ferdinand I, the villa's construction was entrusted to Gherardo Mechini. Appointed 'His Highness's Architect' in May of that same year, he had previously been in service to the Grand Duchy as a master-builder since 1581. It was built between the end of the 16th century and the first twenty years of the 17th century.

The whole building remained almost unchanged in its overall appearance throughout the following period. Its austere features were maintained, presenting an imposing and severe appearance, with a fortress-like aspect. It is plastered in white with simple stone corners; the doors and windows are trimmed with blocks of smooth or ashlar sandstone.

Some pre-existing structures of the village's defensive system were incorporated into the building's construction. Indeed, the fortress and one of the six towers in the city walls, the Canton Gate tower, were annexed to the new building. These structures were largely dismantled and some of the material was reused to make the new building. The fortress and the tower were joined by a two-story building in addition to the ground floor. The first floor is occupied almost entirely by a vast reception hall. The left side of the building, in which the tower was incorporated, is more than a floor in height because it is situated on sloping ground. On this side, just below the eaves of the roof, small windows and openings similar to a guardhouse alternate in very tight succession. There is a rather regular progression of square, stone-framed windows with small openings below, along the entire perimeter of the building on the top floor. This same linear rhythm is repeated for the larger openings on the piano nobile; the ground-floor windows and doors are open without respecting this repetition. The palace's fortress-like appearance is accentuated by four sentry boxes, also equipped with loopholes and watchtowers.

Owned by the Borghese family, the villa is a private residence that cannot be visited.

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