The Medici family has dominated Florence and Tuscany for almost
three centuries and therefore everything speaks of them in
Florence and beyond. I propose here another thematic itinerary
dedicated to the places of the Medici in Florence. In these
pages, you will find proposals to visit the city with an expert
guide who will immerse you in-depth in the topics, however
always with lightness and sympathy. Guided tours are always
calibrated according to the customer's request. If you want to
know everything about the Medici and not just what it's shown in
the fictions, this tour dedicated to the Medici places in
Florence is the one for you.
The fulcrum of the visit is the San Lorenzo district, also called the Medici district precisely because here is the Palazzo Medici and the Basilica of San Lorenzo, elected basilica of the family as early as the fifteenth century.
The first place of the Medici to visit in Florence is certainly their palace, which was built at the behest of Cosimo il Vecchio in the first half of the fifteenth century.
It is also the prototype of the stately city building with an internal square-shaped courtyard, a small garden with a lemon house, the main floor for the family and the roof terrace. What is the roof terrace? What was it for? I'll tell you about it during the walk of course!
Inside the palace, there is a pearl of Florentine Renaissance art: the Chapel with Cavalcade of the Magi painted by Benozzo Gozzoli. In a space of about 20 square meters, where you can enter in small groups and for a limited time, you find yourself among the characters of the Cavalcade of the Magi, between the Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire and the Pope, between the Medici and the Florentine notables.
Our visit to discover the places of the Medici in Florence
continues with the Basilica of San Lorenzo, the first Christian
basilica in Florence (4th century), the first cathedral in
Florence, the family church and the burial place of the Medici.
The Basilica of San Lorenzo is also one of the first examples of
Renaissance architecture begun by Filippo Brunelleschi.
Inside there are countless works of art, such as the Pulpits by Donatello, the frescoes by Bronzino, the altarpieces of the Tuscan Mannerists. We visit the Old Sacristy of Brunelleschi, the first "experiment" of architecture on a human scale and then continue with Michelangelo's New Sacristy. The latter is part of the Medici Chapels complex, the burial place of all members of the Medici family. The amazing Cappella dei Principi is dedicated to the Grand Dukes of Tuscany with walls covered by Florentine mosaic inlaid.
Given that throughout Florence you can find places of the Medici, here I propose a visit to two other palaces in which the Medici lived: the Palazzo della Signoria, which was transformed into a ducal palace by Cosimo I, and Palazzo Pitti which became the official residence of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany from the end of the sixteenth century. The Palazzo della Signoria, an imposing fortress near the Arno river, was radically transformed at the behest of Cosimo I Medici into the Ducal Palace. Apartments were built for Duke Cosimo and his wife Eleonora and Giorgio Vasari was hired for this. He transformed what was once the basic residence of the Priors of the Republic into a sumptuous palace with frescoes and works of art that glorify the magnificence of the Medici family.
Another Medici place in Florence is certainly Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli garden. Here the Medici moved in the second half of the sixteenth century, when they began to move away from the people and shut themselves up in increasingly lavish rooms, frescoed by important Baroque artists, surrounded by works of art from all over Europe. The Pitti Palace has seen many changes, it went from the Medici to the Habsburgs Lorraine and then to Napoleon's sister and then became a royal palace with the Savoy. Visiting its rooms, you still have the impression of being guests and not just tourists. In the Boboli garden, you can rest from the amount of information and beauty and then start again towards other discoveries. Among the places of the Medici in Florence the country villas should also be mentioned: Villa di Castello, Villa di Petraia, Villa di Poggio a Caiano just to remember those on the hills closest to Florence. On request, we can organize a trip outside Florence with a visit to these beautiful villas where the Medici loved to spend the summers away from the heat of the city.
Tuscany is not only an Italian region, it’s a place of the heart