Your Way to Florence: Hotels, villas, bed and breakfast, tourist services, resources of Chianti, Florence, Tuscany, Italy

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 Villa of Poggio a Caiano 

Address: Piazza dei Medici, 12- Tel. 055/877012 Poggio a Caiano (Prato)
How to get there: by car state highway 66 Florence-Pistoia - by bus COPIT bus
Designed by Giuliano da Sangallo for Lorenzo the Magnificent and built around 1480, this is the best known of the Medici villas.
Preceded by a garden redesigned in the nineteenth century, the villa with its unusual "H" - shaped ground plan stands on a porticoed base. A loggia with Ionic columns and a broad pediment with a glazed terra-cotta frieze by Andrea Sansovino (the original is in a room inside) is situated at the center of the harmonious classicizing facade. The double curving staircase however was added in the late eighteenth century to replace the original rectilinear flights of stairs. Of particular note in the marvelously furnished interior is the splendid "Salone di Leone X" (which takes its name from the famous pope, son of Lorenzo the Magnificent) with important sixteenth-century frescoes: episodes from Roman history, with obvious allusions to the life of Lorenzo, were begun by Andrea del Sarto and finished by Alessandro Allori. The finest work, however, is the lunette frescoed by Pontormo, depicting the rural divinities Vertumnus and Pomona, one of the masterpieces of Florentine Mannerism.


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