The Villa of Castello was one of the first villas outside Florence owned by the Medici, dating back to 1477.
It became one of the favourite residences of Cosimo I, who took special interest in the garden.
A year after the young Duke's rise to power, in 1538, the garden was planned according to a complex symbolical design in which the statues, fountains and grottoes celebrated Cosimo's new status.
The villa itself is not open to the public, but visitors may enjoy the splendid garden with its magnificent range of citrus and other rare plants, antique and Renaissance statues.
Particularly fascinating is the Grotto, with animals carved in different types of stone and marble, which one must imagine with its original fountains and water jets
For any information:
Villa Medicea di Castello
Castello, Via di Castello 47 (055 454791).
Open - Winter 8.15am-4.30pm - Summer 8.15am-7.30pm.
Closed second & third Mon of the month.
Admission: 2,00 euro.