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Villa Medicea della Petraia

 

In the first half of XVIth century, the Medici became the owners of this mansion, which then was characterized by a typical medieval design. Following a project by Buontalenti, a good number of modifications were effected, until the works were completed, by the end of the XVIth century. The structure has a square base, it is two stories high and it has maintained the ancient tower.

The entrance is immersed in a wide surrounding garden. These gardens, on three levels, mirror the typical XVIth century layout, although a few modifications were included during the XIXth century From the Italian garden you climb up to the middle fishpond, and then you reach the suspended level of the Figurine, so called because of the fountain depicting Florence’s Venus.

The entrance portal is located on the southern edge, and the symbol of the Medici-Lorena hangs over it. From the hallway you can reach the central court, decorated with frescoes by Daddi and by Volterrano.

The glass coverings in the courtyard, turned into a ballroom, and the Imperial style furnishings in the halls were ordered by Vittorio Emanuele II di Savoia. Among the major elements of interest we will remember the collection of social games (Hall of games) and the small study, hosting a bronze statue by Giambologna.

Once the crowning of the fountain on the Level of the Figurine, the statue depicts Florence’s Venus drying her hair from the waters of Arno and Mugnone. The English park on the hill behind the mansion is also worthy of a visit.
 
For any information:

Villa Medicea della Petraia
Castello, Via della Petraia 40 (055 452691).
Open - Winter 8.15am-4.30pm -  Summer 8.15am-7.30pm.
Closed on the second & third Mon of the month.
Admission: 2,00 euro.


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