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villa di castello

A beautiful short trip from Florence combines the visit to the two Medici villas of Castello and Petraia.

villa la petraia

If you do not have a car, the easiest way is to reach the villa of Castello is by bus no. 28 and get off at the Sestese 03 bus stop; from here, after a visit to the garden of Castello, you can walk down a narrow and picturesque street towards Villa of Petraia.

In doing so, you will walk past the Baroque Corsini Villa, which is the part of the National Archaeological Museum and is open only two Sundays a month during the winter.

The country road that goes uphill towards the Petraia leads you to the gate, and after an uphill tree-lined road, you will have access to the lower part of the garden, organized according to the “Italian-style” taste with geometrical box-hedged flowerbeds. While approaching the villa, at the sides of the staircase you will find the greenhouses for the plants and two large tanks full of fish.

The villa was chosen by the Medici family as suburban residence in a very evocative landscape setting. In fact, this pre-existing and fortified building was dominated by an imposing tower, which Ferdinando dei Medici had it readjusted at the end of the Sixteenth Century, especially acting on the land in order to create gardens.

The villa was always subjected to subsequent interventions; designed by Joseph Frietsch and commissioned by Peter Leopold of Lorraine, the romantic park at the back also had the aim of uniting the two properties of Castello and Petraia into a single park.

The last owners were the Savoia family, who used the villa during the period when Florence was the capital and made significant changes still visible today, such as the court yard (entirely frescoed by Volterrano), covered and used as a dancing hall, and the furnishings of the rooms and halls.

The Villa of Petraia can also be entirely visited with guided tours at scheduled times. Both the visits to the inside and the access to the garden are free of charge. Both Petraia and Castello are UNESCO world heritage sites.

 

 

 

Published: 24/11/2014

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