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Villa Medicea - Quaracchi
Hamlets, districts and squares

Quaracchi, a village rising out of the marshes

The architectural and artistic heritage of a centuries-old settlement in the territory of Osmannoro

Map for 43.768732,11.256901

The township of Quaracchi, located bewteen Brozzi and Prato, has ancient origins, mentioned already in the Carolingian era. The name derives from the Latin name "Ad Claras Aquas," referring to the waters and marshes that covered the area of Osmannoro, between the Arno and the first foothills of Calvana.

The most important church of the village is that of St. Peter located on the street that crosses the Fosso Macinate. The church benefitted from the patronage of major Florentine families and in the sixteenth century it was given to the Order of the Knights of Malta. Restructured several times since the eighteenth century, the Church of St. Peter suffered severe damage during World War II and was rebuilt in 1962 by the architect Marcello Peruzzi, who wanted to bring it back to its original design. Of particular interest is the sixteenth century portico and the nave with frescoed barrel vaults; on the left wall you can admire the fresco of St. Anthony Abbot Enthroned with Saints from 1428, the work of Bicci di Lorenzo.

Quaracchi is also home to one of the most beautiful Renaissance villas in the area: the Villa Rucellai “lo Specchio” , in Via Bonaventure, was probably designed by Leon Battista Alberti, and now houses the Faculty of Agriculture at Università di Studi di Firenze. The building, which dates from the fifteenth century, is built according to the canons for noble architecture of the time with a double cloister, a Renaissance garden in which architectural elements were used to create loads of allegorical symbols and messages of inspiration derived from the mythological ideals of the time.

Giovanni Rucellai lived here, a great merchant, humanist and writer linked to the Medici family, author of the Zibaldone in which he gathered his memories of the most important affairs of his life. From 1877 to 1969 the villa was the seat of the College of St. Bonaventure, known as the "editors of Quaracchi,” a religious and cultural institution of international standing, which has dealt with the publication of Franciscan and of the Archivium Franciscanum Historicum, one of the most important journals of Franciscan history of the world.




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