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Villa Medicea La Petraia, Florence

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Contact: +39 055 29 4883
Open Hours: Nov-Feb: Daily 8:15a-4:30p; Mar and Oct: Daily 8:15a-5:30p; Apr, May and Sept: Daily 8:15-6:30p; Jun-Aug Daily 8:15a-7:30p
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.