It was Ferdinando I de' Medici who commissioned the restructuring works to this castle, which belonged to the Brunelleschi ... More
Villa Medicea La Petraia
It was Ferdinando I de' Medici who commissioned the restructuring works to this castle, which belonged to the Brunelleschi family in the second half of the 16th Century. It seems more than likely that Buonalenti was placed in charge of the project. In 1648, Volterrano completed the frescoes on the walls of the inner courtyard, depicting the splendor of the Medici family. The courtyard was covered with an iron structure when the villa passed to the Savoy family, who then transformed it into a summer residence, introducing new furniture, including imperial pieces from other royal residences. The Italian gardens in front of the villa, complete with nurseries, greenhouses and pools, were designed in the 16th Century and partly modified in the 19th Century. To the rear are some beautiful English gardens designed by Fritsch. Many of the villa's rooms are open to visitors, including the lounge which the Savoy family equipped with parlor games. Guided tours are available at specific times. The gardens close one hour prior to the villa and tickets are also valid for entry to the park at the Villa Medicea di Castello.
We went when it was raining - but that was the only downfall. Inside everything is very well preserved so it is breathtaking to see the frescoes and originality of the furniture and such. If you do go, you must go around with a tour guide and from what we saw, they do not speak much English, so it would be helpful to have someone who can translate to you just to know the facts about the building. I would highly recommend a visit here. It is like a breath of fresh air to be up in the highlands of Tuscany, especially after being in the city for a few days. It is easy to go there by bus and then a short walk, mostly uphill though so wear comfortable shoes. All in all I absolutely loved this villa. It is a definite must for anyone who can appreciate beauty!
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