Villa Medici in Fiesole, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is one of the oldest Renaissance residences with a garden as well as one of the best-preserved Medici villas in Tuscany.
Built by Michelozzo between 1458 and 1461, according to the wishes of Giovanni de’ Medici, the second born of Cosimo the Elder, the Villa’s reputation is owed to Lorenzo the Magnificent, who inherited it in 1469 after the untimely death of his brother. The famous ruler turned the Fiesole Villa into a meeting place for artists, philosophers and men of letters, such as Marsilio Ficino, Pico della Mirandola and Politian. It remained in possession of the Medici family until 1671.
The building is a typical example of a fifteenth-century palazzo, adorned with pietra serena-edged windows and spacious loggias looking out over the view. The entrance, once situated along the Via Vecchia Fiesolana, was moved by Lady Orford in 1772 on to Via Beato Angelico, with the subsequent restructuring of the Villa and the addition of a lemon house, based on plans by Niccolò Maria Gaspare Paoletti. The geographical location, on a slight gradient, led to the positioning of the Villa and gardens on three terraces.
The Villa is currently closed to visitors, while the garden is open by appointment.