Our weekend touring the homes of the Medici begins in the village of Cerreto Guidi, where the splendid Medici Villa stands. Built at the behest of Cosimo I in 1556, the villa is now a UNESCO heritage site. The majestic staircase that leads to the entrance, offers a splendid view of the surrounding valley. Inside the Villa, you can now find the Historical Museum of Hunting and of the Territory, which tells of the deep bond between the Medici and this land through the numerous portraits on display and the large collection of hunting weapons.
Not far from the historic center of Cerreto Guidi, you can find the Medicean Farm of Stabbia. Built by Cosimo I in the mid-sixteenth century, the villa was the administrative center of the Medici properties. Today, the farm is a private residence but it can still be admired from the outside along the road that leads to the Fucecchio Marsh, the largest internal wetland area in Italy.
Reclaimed at the behest of Cosimo I, he had canals and the Ponte Cappiano lock built there to control the waters and the marsh was a hunting reserve for the Medici. Today, it hosts a significant and valuable heritage of flora and fauna, in particular, countless species of birds. Thanks to the paths present, it's possible to visit the whole area, on foot or by bike, while you can birdwatch in one of the huts on site. The Fucecchio Marshes Documentation Center is the heart of the area. Here, you can visit the small museum and book guided tours.