The Medici Villas are an outstanding expression of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, and all of them have something that will make your visit worthwhile.
The first Medici villas built were Trebbio and Cafaggiolo in the Mugello area, where the Medici family originated. Not far from Fiesole is another Medici Villa, known as Belcanto or the Palagio di Fiesole. It was commissioned by Cosimo il Vecchio and designed by Michelozzo (1458-1461).
Another Medici Villa can be found in Poggio a Caiano. It belonged to Lorenzo il Magnifico, who hosted a series of royals, including Vittorio Emanuele II, there. The architecture is splendid, with a terraced porch on the ground floor and a double staircase which leads to the central loggia, inspired by classical motifs. Today, it houses two museums: one dedicated to the historic apartments and the Museum of Still-Life.
La Ferdinanda, near Comeana, also known as the Villa di Artimino, was commissioned by Ferdinando I de' Medici and designed by Buontalenti towards the end of the sixteenth century.
The Castello Villa Medici, in the town of Castello, is a beautiful Renaissance building restored by Vasari and surrounded by a lovely garden designed by Tribolo. The villa is home to the Accademia della Crusca.
The Petraia Villa Medici is one of the most beautiful buildings in the area. It was built along the designs of Buontalenti in the second half of the sixteenth century, commissioned by Ferdinando I.